Barrier Range Wattle
Acacia beckleri is a plant not commonly seen in household gardens, but one which deserves to be grown more widely. In three to four years it will form an attractive rounded shrub 2 m high and even without flowers the shape of the shrub makes it attractive for the landscape design of small gardens.
In the Australian National Botanic Gardens Acacia beckleri begins flowering in early May and continues through until late July. This makes it a particularly useful plant, providing bright yellow flowers at a dull, cold time of year. The flowers are large, dense, globular-shaped balls 1-1.5 cm across with three to seven flower heads to a raceme. The phyllodes (modified leaves) are slightly curved, or straight and narrow 13-18 cm long with a dull point and 1-1.5 cm wide, with two to four glands on the upper leaf edge.
The natural occurrence of Acacia beckleri is in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia and also Broken Hill to Ivanhoe in NSW.
Propagation is by seed sown in spring or early summer. Sown at this time, seedlings grow to large healthy plants ready for planting in the garden in autumn. For good germination results seeds should be pre-treated before sowing.
Pruning is usually unnecessary and only the occasional removal of dead twigs is required. Acacia bug may cause some damage to the phyllodes. Chemical control of this pest is difficult. By the time that damage is noticed the insect is no longer present; removal of badly damaged twigs may be advisable.
For best results planting should be in an open sunny position with a well-drained soil. Overcrowding is best avoided as this will cause the plant to become leggy and unattractive. Plants are normally quite hardy and if watered during dry periods, especially in their first year, little other attention is required.
Text by ANBG staff (1976)
Name meaning: Acacia beckleri
Acacia - may be from the Greek 'to sharpen', in reference to the prickly nature of the first species discovered; another opinion refers to the Egyptian thorn (akakia), a species of Acacia which yields gum arabic;
beckleri - after Herman
Beckler, botanist on the Burke and Wills expedition.