Learn how to recognise, grow, and utilise a variety of acacias.
Mostly dry tropical or mildly temperate climates are where acacias naturally occur. There are more native species to Australia than any other country, although estimates of their numbers differ. Other species are just as widespread in South East Asia, South America, and Africa. Some can resist extremely harsh winter conditions and grow organically in regions that frequently get snow.
Mostly bushes and trees, acacias. Some have relatively slow growth rates and work well as ground coverings. Outside of their natural habitat, growing Acacias can be fairly unpredictable and varied.
- Some have thrived in their new environments as garden plants, windbreaks, or screening plants.
- Others have turned into weeds when they were moved outside of their natural habitat.
- Several species have additional uses, and some are even professionally farmed to produce goods as diverse as extracts for pharmaceuticals, oil for the perfume industry, edible food products, and lumber for building construction, furniture, and fences.
This lesson improves your capacity to recognise and work with various Acacias.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
- Review of the system of plant identification, information sources, etc.
- Physiology of Acacias
- Flower structure
- Foliage types within the genus
- Flower types within the genus
- Acacia fruits
- Planting, staking, mulching, watering, feeding, pruning, etc
- Methods of propagating Acacias.
- Propagation of selected varieties.
- Acacias in the Garden
- Landscape uses
- Plant selection
- Acacias for different situations (Cold hardy, drought hardy, humid climates, summer flowering, autumn flowering, etc)
- The Design Process
- Other Uses for Acacias
- Timber uses
- Cut Flowers
- Food Source
- Gum Arabic
- Pest & Diseases
- Galls, Beetles, Weevils, etc
- Environmental problems: Frost, Shade, Temperature, Wind
- Special Project
- PBL project where you plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of Acacias suited to growing in a specified locality.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Explain the classification system used for acacias.
- Learn where to discover trustworthy sources of information about Acacias.
- Explain the Acacias’ physiology.
- Identify the cultural requisites that apply to Acacias.
- Identify Acacia propagation techniques that are often used.
- Explain the various commercial applications for acacias.
- List a number of additional useful applications for acacias.
- Identify the various health issues that Acacias might cause and make treatment recommendations.
- Learn everything there is to know about one element of acacia growing.
Not many people are aware of all the uses for acacias.
- The most obvious application is as a garden plant or even as wood.
- Acacias are also cultivated and harvested for a variety of uses.
- Did you know that acacias are the source of gum arabic?
- Did you know that certain African communities rely heavily on acacias as a source of food for their livestock?
- Do you know that certain acacias are used to produce medicines?
- Are you aware that indigenous people in Australia, Africa, and other regions consume Acacia seeds, flowers, gum, and other products?
- Want To Discover More…. You have a wonderful opportunity to do that with this course!
What are Wattles?
Wattles are trees and shrubs that belong to the Mimosaceae plant family’s genus Acacia.
There are more than 700 species of wattles, many of which are native to Australia, but there are also many that are imported from Africa, Asia, and other regions.
Appearance: Mostly little trees and plants. Pod-shaped fruits. Pinnate leaves or reduced to petioles that resemble leaves (phyllodes).
Flowers: Mostly yellow or cream, soft cylinders or balls.
Features: Some are fragrant, while others serve as industrial supplies of tannin, wood, fuel, and gums. Australia’s national flower is A. pycnantha.
The ability to adapt to a variety of soils is a requirement. Most people favour well-drained environments. Most of the species are native to Australia and southern Africa, although others are also adapted to other climes. Many like full sun or filtered light, while others thrive in shady but not completely dark environments.
Culture: Many plants have a short lifespan (15 years or less), while others have a long lifespan. To propagate by seed, shatter the seed coverings by submerging them in boiling water prior to sowing (over 100 yrs).
Control of Pests and Diseases: There aren’t many major issues, however borer infestations and wasp galls are fairly unusual. When a problem is identified, use a systemic insecticide.
WHY STUDY WATTLES?
“Wattles are commercially important plants in many ways, and many parts of the world, from Australia through Asia and the Middle East into Africa. They have unique value for land rehabilitation, and certain species are prized for timber, fodder and even food”
Quote from John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc. FIOH, FAIH, FPLA, MISHS, Garden Author and Horticultural Scientist
You will be on the road to becoming somewhat of an expert on wattles by studying any one group of plants in such depth.
Many vocations, including horticulturists, nurserymen, landscapers, environmentalists, and botanists, can benefit from this.
Others may simply have a passion for wattles.
Your education may add to the information you currently possess or it may lay the groundwork for future research into acacias once you graduate.
This training will benefit your profession if you handle plants in any way.
If you specifically work with acacias, this training could be a rare chance to expand your awareness, knowledge, and skill set in ways that you might not be able to do so elsewhere.