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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Acacia baileyana - Bailey Acacia

A small upright ascending tree 15 - 25'. Reasonably thick and somewhat congested. Branching pattern may be pretty random. Beautiful  in bloom.

This is the purple foliage form.

Leaves alternate,  bipinnately compound 1-3" long and about as wide, 4-8 pairs of pinnae, generally an even number, each with about 20-40 leaflets about 1/4" long. Interesting little gland at the base of each pair of primary pinnae, roundish with a hole. Leaves are gray green or silvery colored.

Yellow flowers clustered into small round heads on a long racemes. Very showy and one of the reasons the trees were so very popular in the day. Bloom very early, many years late January or early February, slightly later than A. dealbata.

Legumes, 2-4" long, 1/2" wide or less and sometimes constricted between the seeds. 

Trunks are smooth, gray color. Nothing to write home about.

'Purpurea' is a beautiful cultivar with beautiful purple tinged leaves and flower stalks, making quite a landscape statement.
447 9th Ave SC

Misidentification: Most likely A. dealbata, which looks similar, blooms about the same time with the same looking yellow flowers. However, the foliage of A. dealbata is much larger, the lateral leaflets longer. And the tree is taller, and maybe more likely to fall down.

The purple one seen above it located on the corner of Soquel Dr and Crystal Heights,

Santa Cruz
2422 Mission St in the parking lot at the Sunset Inn (Purpurea again)
447 9th Ave

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