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Useful Temperate Plants

Acacia longifolia

(Andrews) Willd.

Fabaceae


Acacia sophorae (Labill.) R.Br., is treated here as a smaller growing, maritime subspecies of Acacia longifolia and is included in this record. However, some authorities recognize it as a distinct species[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Classification of the genus Acacia (in the wider sense) has been subject to considerable debate. It is generally agreed that there are valid reasons for breaking it up into several distinct genera, but disagreement in the way this should be done. Some authorities have wanted to transfer this species to the genus Racosperma, but the latest decision (in 2011 and still not fully accepted) is that it remains in Acacia[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Acacia sophora (Labill.) R.Br.

Acacia sophorae (Labill.) R.Br.

Acacia sophorina (Labill.) R.Br.

Cuparilla sophorae (Labill.) Raf.

Mimosa longifolia Andrews

Mimosa macrostachya Poir.

Mimosa sophorae Labill.

Phyllodoce longifolia (Andrews) Link

Phyllodoce sophora Link

Racosperma longifolium (Andrews) C.Mart.

Racosperma sophorae (Labill.) C.Mart

Common Name: Sidney Golden Wattle

Acacia longifolia
Cultivated flowering tree
Photograph by: cskk
Creative Commons License
Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia Acacia longifolia

General Information

Sidney Golden Wattle is an evergreen shrub or small tree, ranging in size from a prostrate shrub when growing in poor soils and in maritime exposure to a tree 7 metres or more tall. The open, spreading crown can range from 1 - 25 metres wide[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
,
397
Title
Australian Native Plants Society
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://anpsa.org.au/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on Australian plants. Good photographs, brief description and information on uses, habitat, range, cultivation etc.
]. Although it produces leaves as a seedling, llike most members of the genus the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
397
Title
Australian Native Plants Society
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://anpsa.org.au/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on Australian plants. Good photographs, brief description and information on uses, habitat, range, cultivation etc.
].
The tree is a traditional food source of Australian Aborigines and is also used in the growing Australian Bush foods industry. It is a very ornamental plant and is often cultivated in gardens from the warm temperate zone to the tropics.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.

Range

Australia - New South Wales, Queensland, Southern Australia, Tasmania, Victoria.

Habitat

Sandy soils mainly by the coast[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
]. Grows in a wide range of sclerophyll communities (heathlands to woodlands and tall forests), usually on sandstone and basalt- or granite-derived soils[
365
Title
Flora of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/floraonline.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource giving a brief botanical description of all the native plants of New South Wales, their habitat and range, together with diagrams and photographs of the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height9.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Acacia longifolia is found from the temperate zone of Tasmania to as far north as the subtopics of Queensland, with some reports of specimens growing in tropical Queensland and Northern Territories. It is said to be tolerant of occasional frosts down to about -10°c for short periods[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is liable to be cut back to the ground in excessively cold winters[, though it can resprout from the base[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Tasmanian provenances are the hardiest forms for cooller areas of the temperate zone.
Prefers a well-drained, sandy loam and a very sunny position.[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
]. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. This species is fairly lime-tolerant[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Succeeds in a hot dry position[
166
Title
The Milder Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Taylor. J.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1990
ISBN
 
Description
A good book on plants that you didn't know could be grown outdoors in Britain.
] and in poor soils[
184
Title
Shrubs.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30258-2
Description
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1,900 species and cultivars.
]. A fairly wind resistant tree, growing well in maritime areas[
49
Title
Shrubs for the Milder Counties.
Publication
 
Author
Arnold-Forster.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Trees and shrubs that grow well in Cornwall and other mild areas of Britain. Fairly good, a standard reference book.
,
166
Title
The Milder Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Taylor. J.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1990
ISBN
 
Description
A good book on plants that you didn't know could be grown outdoors in Britain.
,
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
]. Tolerates some salt in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is often grown as an ornamental and has been known to escape from cultivation. It has been classified as 'Invasive' in several countries[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Dislikes root disturbance[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
A very ornamental plant, it is fast-growing but fairly short-lived[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
The flowers are scented of violets[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Flowers - cooked[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. The flowers have a violet-like fragrance[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Seed - roasted[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. Starchy[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Rather small and fiddly to gather[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The pods are rather variable in length, but can be up to 15cm long containing seeds up to 6mm long[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
]. Acacia seeds are highly nutritious and contain approx 26% protein, 26% available carbohydrate, 32% fibre and 9% fat[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
]. The fat content is higher than most legumes with the aril providing the bulk of fatty acids present[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
]. These fatty acids are largely unsaturated which is a distinct health advantage although it presents storage problems as such fats readily oxidise[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
]. The mean total carbohydrate content of 55.8 + 13.7% is lower than that of lentils, but higher than that of soybeans while the mean fibre content of 32.3 + 14.3% is higher than that of other legumes such as lentils with a level of 11.7%[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
]. The energy content is high in all species tested, averaging 1480+270 kJ per 100g[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
]. Wattle seeds are low glycaemic index foods. The starch is digested and absorbed very slowly, producing a small, but sustained rise in blood glucose and so delaying the onset of exhaustion in prolonged exercise[
278
Title
Wattleseed
Publication
 
Author
Lister. P.
Website
http://www.uws.edu.au/vip/listerp/wattle.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very interesting article on the internet about the Aboriginal uses of the Genus Acacia in Australia.
].

Seedpods - roasted[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. The pods are up to 10cm long[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is used on sandy soils and steep banks[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The subspecies Acacia longifolia sophorae is useful for sand stabilisation on beaches, where it grows quickly, binding sand and fixing nitrogen with its roots, as well as providing shelter. This makes it a very useful plant to help re-establish native sand-dune plant communities[
693
Title
Bush Foods of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
Stewart S.; Percival B.
Website
http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/education/Resources/bush_foods
Publisher
Royal Botanic gardens; Sydney, Australia.
Year
1997
ISBN
07313-0004-1
Description
A small booklet with information on more than 30 species of edible plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Trees are planted as a screen in Australia[
157
Title
Australian Native Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M.
Publisher
Collins. (Australia)
Year
1988
ISBN
0-7322-0021-0
Description
A lovely book, written in order to encourage Australian gardeners to grow their native plants. A little bit of information for the plant project.
].
This species is often grown as a rootstock for grafting lime-intolerant members of the genus[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].

Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
168
Title
Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Grae. I.
Publisher
MacMillan Publishing Co. New York.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-02-544950-8
Description
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
].
A green dye is obtained from the seed pods[
168
Title
Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Grae. I.
Publisher
MacMillan Publishing Co. New York.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-02-544950-8
Description
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
].

The bark is a source of tannins[
693
Title
Bush Foods of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
Stewart S.; Percival B.
Website
http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/education/Resources/bush_foods
Publisher
Royal Botanic gardens; Sydney, Australia.
Year
1997
ISBN
07313-0004-1
Description
A small booklet with information on more than 30 species of edible plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The white wood is hard and durable[
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
,
693
Title
Bush Foods of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
Stewart S.; Percival B.
Website
http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/education/Resources/bush_foods
Publisher
Royal Botanic gardens; Sydney, Australia.
Year
1997
ISBN
07313-0004-1
Description
A small booklet with information on more than 30 species of edible plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c[
133
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1987
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, mid summer in individual pots in a frame[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].

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