Horticultural potential of Acacia
Grady Brand1 and Luke Sweedman2
(1) Curator, Botanic Gardens and Display, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, Western Australia 6005
(2) Curator, Western Australian Seed Technology Centre, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, Western Australia 6005
The wattle is an acknowledged plant icon of Australia, with Western Australia the hot spot for diversity: Western Australia has 500 of the 960 Australia species. With familiarity comes complacency, and possibly this genus has become a victim of this in the horticultural world. Its potential is vast, with the ability to influence all communities in the State. Strategic marketing of Western Australian species that have undergone horticultural development trials would ensure that the most attractive wattles would be utilised. Kings Park and Botanic Garden has devoted 0.7 hectare to the cultivation of c. 70 of the most decorative acacias. This is combined with public artwork to inspire and focus attention on the more attractive species. There are distinctive localised acacias in each major region of Western Australia which could be adopted by each community, giving them their own identity and sense of place. Cultivation with seed of local provenance will create ecologically sound initiatives and will help develop green corridors, linking natural remnant bushland throughout the region. Table 1 indicates the species considered suitable to create this effect.