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Products > Plants - Browse Alphabetically > Acacia baileyana
Acacia baileyana - Fernleaf Acacia
Image of Acacia baileyana
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Mimosaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 20-30 feet
Width: 20-40 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Acacia baileyana (Fernleaf Acacia) - A fast-growing small evergreen tree that grows to 20-30 foot tall by usually a bit wider with silvery blue-gray, feathery leaves on weeping branches. Bright golden yellow, small, rounded flowers bloom late winter through early spring.

Plant in full sun to filtered shade where once established it is frost tolerant and moderately drought tolerant. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F. As with many in the genus, it is relatively short lived for a tree but for 30 years or so makes a dramatic statement in the garden as a trained-up street or patio tree or left with lower branches as a large shrub or low branched tree. A great plant for slopes.

Matt Ritter in his A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us in his listing for Acacia baileyana notes that "This species is popular as a shapely, midsized street tree in cooler coastal cities". It has been identified as invasive in other mediterranean climate regions of the world and documented to have reseeded in areas within California, so is best not used near the urban–rural interface or close to sensitive wildland habitats.

Acacia baileyana has a very restricted natural distribution confined to the vicinity of Cootamundra in southern New South Wales, Australia where it is commonly called the Cootamundra Wattle. The name Acacia comes either from the Greek word 'akazo' meaning "to sharpen" or from the Egyptian word 'akakia', a name given to the Egyptian Thorn, Acacia arabica. The specific epithet honors the Frederick Manson Bailey (1827-1915), Australian botanist and son of colonial botanist John Bailey (1800-1864). The species, Acacia baileyana was first introduced into California in 1903 by Dr. Francesco Franceschi (Emanuele Orazio Fenzi). The purple leafed cultivar Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' cultivar that we grow came into cultivation in California around 1935, both it and the species received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993. 

This information about Acacia baileyana displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.