Silver wattle

Acacia dealbata
Silver wattle: Acacia dealbata Silver wattle: Acacia dealbata

Common name:

Silver wattle

Scientific name:

Acacia dealbata (Fabaceae)

Alternative common names:

Silwerwattel (Afrikaans)

A fast-growing evergreen tree or shrub, reaching heights of 5-10m, the silver wattle is largely problematic in areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State and Gauteng.  It has short leaflets with fine hairs and usually silvery-grey in colour. Blooming in July and August, flowers are bright yellow. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    South-eastern Australia and Tasmania

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    CARA 2002 – Category 1(Western Cape), Category 2 (rest of SA) NEMBA – Category 2

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga Provinces.

    How does it spread?

    Seed dispersal.

    Why is it a problem?

    It results in a loss of large amounts of water run-off. Silver wattle also competes with and replaces indigenous grassland and riverine species.

    What does it look like?

    Description: A fast-growing evergreen tree or shrub, reaching heights of 5-10m. Leaves: Silver-grey to light green, finely haired short leaflets. Flowers: From July to August, pale to bright yellow globe-shaped flower heads in large fragrant sprays. Fruit/seeds: Brown or purplish brown flattened pods.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Cultivated for timber use for poles and firewood.

    Plant me instead alternatives

    Common hook-thorn (Acacia caffra), weeping wattle (Peltophorum africanum), ouhout (Leucosidea sericea), mountain karee (Rhus leptodictya), karee (Rhus lancea), blossom tree/keurboom (Virgilia oroboides)