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.
- Common name Silver wattle
- Scientific name Acacia dealbata (Fabaceae)
Alternative common names
- Where does this species come from? South-eastern Australia and Tasmania
- What is its invasive status in South Africa? Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1(Western Cape), Category 2 (rest of SA) Proposed legislation: NEMBA – Category 1b
- 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)