The golden wattle

The golden wattle / Acacia cyanophylla / أكاسيا الأحراش

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Status: Common

The golden wattle is a small tree belongs to the Fabaceae family in the Fables order. It is invasive and introduced from Australia to the region as an afforestation tree, and planted on mobile sand dunes and at roadsides. It is a very versatile tree that make it adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions, including clays, sandy soils, and nutritionally depleted soils. It has phyllodes instead of true leaves which can reach to 25 cm long. It has yellow flowers that come in the late winter and early spring, blooming from February to May. Flowers are hermaphrodite only. The fruit of the tree is a legume with black seeds. This plant is non-succulent and without spines, leave arrangement is alternate which means one leaf per node and the leave type is entire.

Ecology: This plant is glycophyte in terms of salt resistance and it is obligate syanthropic.

The habitats: Light soil and Disturbed habitats. In terms of phytogeography this plant is with Australian origin.

Distribution: The Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands. The tree secretes a sugary substance from nectary glands, which are located at the base of the phyllodes. This nectar attracts ants and it is believed that the presence of the ants save leaf from being eaten by insects. The ants are also important in the dispersal of the seeds.

Plant Uses: This tree can be used for firewood, animal fodder, re-vegetation, mine site rehabilitation, agroforestry, and as a mulch.

It has been introduced in places such as the Middle East, Africa, and South America to be used as wind breaks and to add stability to sand dunes and help reduce erosion. However, It is a decorative plant due to its bright yellow flowers.

Other names: coojong, orange wattle, blue-leafed wattle.

IUCN red list status: not evaluated

Local status: least concern