Fabaceae (pea family) Acacia

Acacia baileyana Cootamundra wattle

New South Wales
Acacia baileyana flowers on Peter Coutts Road. Sairus Patel, 7 Feb 2021
Acacia baileyana leaves and flower. John Rawlings, c 2005

A shapely tree with silvery foliage and masses of brilliant golden flowers in late winter. It can be separated from green wattle and silver wattle by having four (occasionally five or six) pairs of pinnae (the major segments into which the leaf is divided). Each pinna is further subdivided into many tiny silvery flat pinnules about ¼ inch long. Just below the point of attachment of each pair of pinnae there is a gland with a dark spot that is visible from the upper surface of the pinnae.

Acacia baileyana leaves and flowers. From Trees of Stanford and Environs, Ronald Bracewell
Acacia baileyana leaf and fruit. From An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino

This small tree is a candidate, with Cassia eremophila, for first prize among yellow-flowered trees. See it in the thicket at the northwest corner of the intersection of Peter Coutts Road and Raimundo Way; this specimen has six pairs of pinnae, which is rather unusual. A single sprawling tree, its low trunk split down the middle, is on the southwest side of Lake Lagunita, just southeast of the intersection of the paths there (see on map).

Several more near the intersection of Escondido Road and Blackwelder Court were removed 2017 due to construction. A specimen at 880 Lathrop Drive and three south of The Knoll were found to be missing February, 2018.

Name derivation: Acacia – Greek akis, a sharp point; baileyana – after A.M. Bailey (1827–1915), Australian botanist.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Missing locations noted; Peter Coutts specimen added; Lake Lag specimen description elaborated; all locations up to date (Sairus Patel, Feb 2018).