Harvest when about 20% of the flowers are open. Make sure flowers are dry at harvest because harvesting wet flowers is an invitation for brown flowers to develop.
A member of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae (pea) family.
Native to Australia.
Redbud, wisteria, lupine, clover, bean, and soybean are all common relatives of Acacia.
Flowers ball-shaped, in fluffy clusters.
Leaves gray-green, finely divided.
Plant is medium-sized woody tree, dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
Flowers have an intense, sweet fragrance.
Desiccates easily, cover with plastic when storing dry. Can be stored wet for 3 to 4 days. One suggested storage temperature range is 34-38F but specific data was not presented. Another states (with no documentation) that it can be stored for 25 days at 33F, which seems a little too long.
Scientific name from the Greek word “akis” (sharp point), referring to thorns on the stems. The specific epithet name of “floribunda” means many flowers.
As a small tree, this species is a very aggressive grower in the landscape or wild. Can easily become a weed and is very difficult to eradicate. Flowers often become very heavy after a rain resulting in broken branches. It is also a messy grower. Some species are used as fearsome screens, hedges and even crash barriers.
One of relatively few plant species that can transform nitrogen from the atmosphere into a nitrogen form that plants can use as a fertilizer.
Some growers harvest when the flowers are 100% in the bud stage and then open them in a room before sale.
A. dealbata (which has more silvery foliage) branches are forced into flower for European markets.
Recent Research Findings:
Williamson and Milburn (1995) report that hydrating Acacia in citric acid based solutions greatly reduces air blockages that can result in a 60% increase in vaselife. Warm water that has been degassed and then cooled may give equally good results. Faragher et al. (2000) report that species that last longer are A. buxifolia, A. cultriformis, A. floribunda, A. lanigera and A. retinodes.
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