Common name: Cootamundra wattle, golden mimosa
Acacia baileyana F.Muell. APNI*
Synonyms: Racosperma baileyanum (F.Muell.) Pedley APNI*
Description: Erect tree or sometimes shrub 3–10 m high; bark smooth, grey or brown; branchlets terete with ridges, angled towards apices, ± pruinose, hairy or glabrous.
Leaves ± sessile on pulvinus, ash grey-green or bluish, with rachis mostly 0.3–2.5 cm long, hairy to glabrous, prominent jugary glands present except at lowermost 1 or 2 pairs of pinnae, interjugary glands absent; pinnae usually 2–4 pairs (range: 1–6 pairs), 1–3 cm long; pinnules mostly 8–24 pairs (sometimes 4–7 on shorter pinnae), closely spaced, narrowly oblong, mostly 3–8 mm long and 0.7–1.6 mm wide, glabrous or occasionally ciliate.
Inflorescences 8–36 in axillary racemes with axis 3–10 cm long or in panicles; peduncles 3–7 mm long, glabrous; heads globose, 11–25-flowered, 3.5–7 mm diam., bright yellow.
Pods straight or sometimes slightly curved, ± flat, ± straight-sided but often irregularly constricted between seeds, 3–10 cm long, 7.5–15 mm wide, leathery, glabrous, usually ± pruinose; seeds longitudinal; funicle filiform.
Distribution and occurrence: endemic to the Temora-Cootamundra district; widely cultivated, often naturalised (e.g. roadsides, near rail lines, disturbed bushland).
Grows in eucalypt open forest, woodland and mallee communities, on granite, porphyry, slate and sedimentary rock parent material; creek flats to hilly country.
NSW subdivisions: ?NC, *CC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, CWS, SWS
Named after Frederick Manson Bailey (1827-1915), a former Queensland Colonial Botanist, who collected the type specimen. Acacia baileyana hybridises with other species, including A. decurrens, A. dealbata, A. leucoclada, A. pubescens, and A. spectabilis. Cootamundra Wattle often escapes into natural areas and should not be planted near bushland (see WattleWeb Gardening with Wattles and Weeds in Australia). The commercially available cultivar, A. baileyana 'Purpurea', has attractive purplish young foliage.
Text by P.G. Kodela (last edited July 2012)
Taxon concept: P.G. Kodela & G.J. Harden, Flora of NSW Vol. 2 (2002)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.