The Small Acacia Project: At Yallaroo we are involved in a number of projects. Various native plant species and varieties are tested to see if will survive and thrive in our harsh climate. We work on the premise that if a plant survives in our frosty and often dry environment then they should be able to adapt to most Australian conditions.
Usually the Acacias or Wattles are thought of as tall shrubs or small trees. Of course many species have these growth habits but there are also a large number that develop into small shrubs (about one metre high) or even ground covers. We searched native seed merchantsí catalogues and have purchased seeds of about 60 species, which meet the Small Acacia criteria. These seeds have been sown and once germinated they will be potted on and eventually be planted out in the gardens at Yallaroo. Two or three growing seasons should give an indication of their suitability for our site in particular and cultivation in general. Most of these small Acacias are not available commercially.
One species, which shows great promise, is Acacia ashbyae from Western Australia. At Yallaroo this species has developed into a small, spreading shrub with long, narrow, hairy phyllodes. Our specimen has not flowered but is reputed to have rod-like yellow flower heads. Even without flowers, Acacia ashbyae attracts a great deal of attention from visitors.
We will have other reports as more small Acacias graduate to the garden.