An exquisite Australian tree - silver acacia has long become one of the most common plants on the Black Sea coast of Russia. In our country, acacia is often called mimosa. Its fluffy branches, densely sprinkled with small yellow flowers, are the traditional harbinger of spring. In fact, these are completely different plants, although they belong to the same family - legumes. However, this confusion does not affect the popularity of acacia: the mesmerizing impression of the lush and densely blooming sun flower cap leaves no one indifferent.
Silver acacia (Acacia dealbata) or whitewashed acacia, belongs to the genus Acacia, legume family. At home, in the southeastern part of the Australian continent and on the island of Tasmania, it is a sprawling evergreen tree, the height of which can reach 45 meters. Found in eucalyptus forests, along river banks. In Europe, silver acacia appeared in 1820, after which it spread to the Mediterranean coast. In Russia, culture has been known since 1852. The plant got its name "silvery" from the color of its foliage. Its shade, due to the pubescence of the leaves, seems to be ashy green.
In everyday life, silver acacia is often incorrectly called mimosa. Silver acacia is widespread on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, and it was its flowering shoots that were a traditional gift in the former USSR on International Women's Day.
Silver acacia is an evergreen tree with a dense umbrella-shaped crown. Its height is on average 10-12 meters (at home in Australia, up to 45 m). Possesses a powerful horizontal root system. The main root produces a large number of offspring.
The trunk diameter can reach 60-70 cm. its bark is smooth, changes color depending on age: the older the tree, the darker the shade becomes. Mature plants have brown or grayish-brown trunks, excised with many cracks. Drops of thick gum may ooze through them. This substance is used in industry and for medical purposes.
Gum - drops of thick liquid frozen on the trunk or branches of a tree. It tends to thicken (getting into water, it swells and forms a sticky solution). It is used in various fields of industry, including medicine.
The leaves are double-pinnate, dissected into thin lobes, 10-20 cm long, covered with many small hairs, consisting of 8-24 pairs of long and narrow small leaves of the first order. In turn, each of them has up to 50 pairs of even smaller and narrower leaves of the second order. The purpose of the hairs is to protect the leaf surface from moisture loss, sunburn and cold. At the bases of the leaves of the first order, on the dorsum of the main vein, there are round glands. When acacia blooms, honey liquid oozes from them.
The flowers of the silver acacia are small grayish-yellow bead heads with a diameter of 4-8 mm. These small balls are collected in lush racemose inflorescences, and those, in turn, are collected in panicle inflorescences. The petals that make up the flowers are ovoid or broadly lanceolate, with 5 petals in the corolla. The stamens are located on long filaments and protrude far from the corolla. The color of the anthers is bright yellow, and the stamens are close to orange. The flowering of silver acacia, depending on climatic conditions, occurs from mid-winter to mid-spring.
Silver acacia fruits are oblong flattened beans with blunt tips 1.5-8 cm long and about 1 cm wide, light brown or brown with a purple tint. Inside the fruit are hard black or dark brown elliptical seeds 3-4 mm long. Fruiting occurs in August and September.