Pronounciation: A-KAY-sha re-DO-lens
Sunset 8 - 24
USDA 9 - 11
Landscape Use: Xeric landscape design themes only. This is a sprawling, prostrate, ground cover shrub for expansive spaces such as freeway and interstate embankments.
Form & Character: Short-lived (15 to 20 years maximum), evergreen, stiff and generally vigorously spreading.
Growth Habit: Woody perennial, stiffly branched, fast growth rate to a horizontal spread of 30 feet (mostly 10 to 20 feet). Can eventually 'billow' to heights of 4 to 6 feet, though low growing cultivars stay at 2 feet tall. Has a tendency to build up a stiff array of dead branches (thatch) underneath it's canopy with age.
Foliage/texture: Lanceolate shaped phyllodes that vary in length (2 to 6 inches) and color (grey green to green); medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers yellow borne in axillary meristems, not particularly showy. Fruit is a inconspicuous, non-descript pod.
Seasonal color: Diffuse yellow flower effect in spring.
Temperature: Heat-loving and cold tolerant to 15oF.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant of alkaline soils, although the phyllodes tend to yellow somewhat in wet soils of high alkalinity and salinity. Chelate micronutrient fertilizers will correct this problem quickly, but are rarely required.
Watering: Some additional water from irrigation after establishment is needed to maintain plant health and vigor in desert regions of Arizona and eastern California. No supplemental irrigation is required for use of prostrate acacia in coastal California.
Pruning: Little pruning is needed if Acacia redolens is properly located within large landscape space. Unfortunately, it is often planted is landscape spaces that are much too small for it to grow to it's natural spread thus requiring frequent hedging of spreading branches.
Propagation: Seed, acid or mechanical scarification needed. Semi hardwood cuttings are successful during the summer months only.
Disease and pests: Prone to soil borne fungal pathogens in poorly drained soil
Additional comments: Acacia redolens from seed is highly variable in form. Some phenotypes can grow as a mounding shrub.
Also, Acacia redolens follows the James
Dean principle of growing fast and dieing young. 'Desert
Carpet' (Mountain States Wholesale Nursery) and 'Low
Boy' (San Marcos Growers) are two cultivars with intensely prostrate growth
habits. Does not take well to foot traffic when used as a ground cover because
of its brittle stems and branches. In my opinion, this fast growing prostrate shrub has difficulty growing well in the lower Arizona deserts because of the extremely hot summer surface temperatures and is more adapted for landscape plantings in coastal southern and central California.