Acacia dealbata, also known as the silver wattle, blue wattle, or mimosa flower, is a species of the legume family Fabaceae. It is native to southeastern Australia in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory and broadly introduced in the Mediterranean, warmer temperate, and highland tropical landscapes. Many florists use the flowers and tip shoots as cut flowers, and they trade them as mimosa (not to be confused with the genus of plants called Mimosa). In many eastern European countries and the United States, the flowers are also commonly given to women on International Women’s Day.
It is a fast-growing evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 30 m tall, typically a pioneer species after the fire. The leaves are bipinnate, glaucous blue-green to a silvery grey. The flowers come out in large racemose inflorescences, many smaller yellow flowerheads, 13 to 42 individual flowers. The fruit is a flattened pod containing many seeds. Trees commonly do not live longer than 30-40 years.
In the moist mountain areas, a white lichen can almost cover the bark. The Latin epithet dealbata also means covered in a white powder. Along with other bipinnate wattles, Acacia dealbata belongs to the section Botrycephalae, within the subgenus Phyllodineae in the genus Acacia.
Acacia dealbata is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions of the world and naturalized in some areas, including Sochi (Black Sea coast of Russia), Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, Norfolk Island, the Mediterranean region from Portugal to Greece, and Morocco to Israel, Yalta (Crimea, Ukraine), California, Madagascar, southern Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe), the highlands of south India, south-western China and Chile. It is hardy down to −5 °C (23 °F) but does not survive prolonged frost. The plant prefers a sheltered spot in full sun, with acid or neutral soil.
Mimosa flower symbolism
In the language of flowers, the pretty yellow mimosa flower is rich in symbolism and meanings. The mimosa has been an emblem of femininity and freedom since 1946 for Women’s Rights Day, now known as International Women’s Day, which takes place on the 8th of March. This symbolic tradition comes from Italy. Italian women picked yellow as the official color for the mimosa.
This lovely flower signifies a sign of joy, but the symbolism doesn’t end there. One of the most popular yellow flowers used in symbolic poetry and messaging, the mimosa flower typically portrays the sun. As the symbol of gold and sun, mimosa is the image of the victorious life.
Mimosa is also like a ray of sunshine in the middle of winter. It will give fragrance to your home or brighten your garden with its gorgeous bright yellow color. In a vase, in a pot, or on the ground, it can perfectly ornament your place.
To gift a bouquet of mimosa is to convey a message of love and friendship. It refers to sunlight and summer but signifies respect, elegance, nobility, and compassion. When you want to give someone positives vibes, whether it’s to a loved one, a family member, or a friend, mimosa is a great option. You can offer this gorgeous flower on the occasion of Mother’s Day or Grandmother’s Day. You can also give it to a dear friend or your beloved ones. The mimosa stands for the return of sunny days and provides spiritual and emotional security. Mimosa flower also serves as a natural antidepressant.
Mimosa flower is also related to themes of sense and good sensibility. It symbolizes the nature of a secret or increased sensitivity and safety. They can express that you wish to expand your life, whether in your career, family, or even travel. In some cultures, the flower is more directly tied to sensitivity and represents a gesture of mourning.
Mimosa flowers are relevant for just about any occasion. They are usually given at funerals in some cultures to show your sympathy in times of mourning. In addition to that, they can also celebrate happier or bigger occasions, more symbolic events like Women’s Day in many eastern European countries and the United States. With their sunny nature and ability to add a ton of beauty to an arrangement, these bright flowers are perfect for practically any event.
Planting Acacia dealbata
The mimosa can be planted inside or outside your home in the spring or fall, depending on your preference. The flower likes sunny places and sheltered spots from the wind. The best temperature for the mimosa flower is usually 23 to 25°C. It enjoys drained and rocky soils.
However, the plant does not like clay, nor does it appreciate heavy or limestone soils. It is also very susceptible to polluted air. If you smoke in your home, it is better that you remove it from there and place it in a smoke-free room or outdoors, depending on the weather.
Be aware that the plant is sensitive to cold. But no need to be worried because mimosa species can withstand low temperatures down to -5 °, provided they are short-lived. If you live in a country with severe winters, plant your mimosa in a pot so that you can effortlessly take it in when it is cold.
You should know that the mimosa grows fast. Prune after flowering to give the shape you want. Do not forget to remove anything that could weaken the tree, such as suckers growing on the ground, damaged branches, or blackened areas caused by frost. Also, the potted mimosa needs regular watering because it dries quickly, especially in summer. Make sure to moderately water the plant to prevent the roots from rotting.
If you live in the south or on the Atlantic coast, you can plant the mimosa in the ground. It can develop on its own. The mimosa is very suitable for growing in pots as long as it stays in the right spot. So, you have to choose a relatively large pot that does not have a water reserve. For potted plants, winterize your mimosa in a bright and cool room kept frost-free or protect the branches with a doubled winter veil.
If you like to brighten up your interior with mimosa flowers, know that to keep them in a vase, you have to pick the branches as soon as the first flowers blossom. If you choose to grow your Acacia dealbata in a pot for a deck, balcony, or terrace, its fragrance will spread in the entire vicinity as soon as the first flowers open.