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White acacia attracts attention with its spreading crown and delightful flower clusters. This tree is an excellent honey plant and has a delicate subtle scent (read about acacia honey here).
Acacia has been known as a medicinal plant for a long time. Currently, it is officially included in the list of medicinal plants in some countries of the world. Experts admit that the medicinal properties and chemical composition of "white acacia" have not yet been fully studied, therefore, treatment with drugs from this plant is possible only under the supervision of a doctor. A valuable essential oil is isolated from the "white acacia", which repels insect pests.
What kind of tree is this - Robinia false acacia?
In botany, the true name of this tree is pseudoacacia, or it is also called Robinia vulgaris. It belongs to the legume family of the genus Robinia pseudoacacia. Sometimes you can find that the name pseudo-acacia is added to Robinia. More than 800 species are united in it. It can be both shrubs and ornamental trees up to 25 meters high.
Where does it grow in Russia?
In Russia, white acacia has been cultivated since the middle of the 19th century. It was brought to Odessa in 1822, from where it later spread throughout the country.
Nowadays, acacia feels great on:
- the south of the Far East;
- Stavropol region;
- Lower Volga region.
Reference! Some acacia trees can grow in the northern regions, but in very harsh winters they freeze slightly.
The white acacia has a spreading crown, and the bark is dark, thick and deeply furrowed. The tree has a very strong root system. The roots can penetrate over 20 meters. With very good soil, the roots can grow into the ground and to great depths.
The pinnate leaves consist of 4-8 soft, light green elliptical leaves. They are located on short petioles. The modified leaves, called thorns, have a very sharp end. These crescent spines are woody and sturdy and look very graceful.
Acacia blooms with large, white, numerous flowers with a bright aroma, which hang on the brushes. Its fruit is a flat, 10 cm long bean containing dark seeds. The tree lives for over 50 years.
White acacia grows rapidly, especially for the first 10 years. If conditions are favorable, it can grow up to 30 meters.
The tree stands out for the following qualities:
- drought resistance;
- love for the sun.
What shades are there?
Acacia flowers are not only white. There are other varieties of acacia with flowers of such shades as:
- pale pink;
- dark pink;
Attention! Rarely, but there are acacias, the flowers of which have purple, lilac, as well as a rich purple color with a yellow center in the middle.
In the photo you can see what an acacia looks like with flowers of different shades.
History of origin
The homeland of the white acacia is North America. In Europe, the plant appeared thanks to the gardener Vespasian Robin, who served in the courtyard of King Louis XIII of France. In 1635 he brought the seeds of this tree to Paris.
Reference! The fast-growing acacia soon appeared on the streets of Paris, from where it later spread throughout Eurasia.
Medicinal properties and contraindications
The plant is endowed with a number of medicinal properties, namely:
White acacia helps to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the blood. However, it must be remembered that the alkaloid toxalbuminrobin contained in wood and bark irritates and thereby destroys the protective mucous membranes.
Preparations, which include this plant, must be taken in limited doses, otherwise poisoning with toxic substances may occur.
It is prohibited to accept funds based on acacia flowers when:
- low stomach acidity;
- individual intolerance;
- reduced pressure;
- pregnancy and lactation.
Description of parts of the tree
White acacia seeds are presented in the form of a bean, which can be:
The bob is curved and straight. The fruits of this plant are flattened pods, they are mostly brown in color. There are 5-6 pieces of bean seeds inside them. Inflorescences are paniculate, cylindrical and capitate.
The thorns in many species of acacia are a kind of modified stipules. As for the flowers collected by hanging bunches, there are a large number of them. They are large or small, bisexual and heterosexual.
The most common varieties of Robinia include sticky, New Mexican, yellow, fragrant white, bristly hair.
New Mexican acacia grows no more than 12 m. Its delicate pink flowers are odorless.
The sticky acacia has a rounded crown. It blooms in pink flowers with a purple tint. The tree is called this because it has sticky hairs on:
The yellow acacia, called kargana, is a multi-stemmed shrub. It grows up to 3 meters in height. His bark is gray-green, the flowers are also yellow. Previously, this yellow acacia was popularly called the pea tree.
With pink flowers
There is also another shrub form of acacia with pink flowers. It is distinguished by reddish bristles covering the entire plant.
Flowering occurs at three or four years of age in May - June, the fruits ripen in September and weigh throughout the winter. A young plant must be looked after.
Care consists of the following regular actions:
- top dressing;
- removal of dried-up branches;
- removing weeds.
It is necessary that the acacia get a lot of sunlight, it is not allowed to shade a young tree by nearby growing trees. Young seedlings need mulching the soil around them. Small pebbles or peat are suitable for this.
Important! So that the tree does not weaken, immediately after it has faded, you need to remove all the dried flowers.
It so happens that the white acacia does not bloom for a long time. The reason for this is groundwater, which causes the roots to rot. If the tree is young, only transplanting will help to correct the situation, or planting a new seedling in a normal place.
Use in garden design
In addition to the fact that acacia is considered a useful planting, it is also an impeccable decorative tree for decorating the local area and garden area. The owners of summer cottages with the help of white acacia create a pretty hedge on their territory.
Designers often use this tree when landscaping gardens and parks. White acacia grows quickly and is easy to form. To do this, in the fall, young seedlings are planted in a checkerboard pattern at a distance of 25 cm from each other. In the future, it is necessary to cut them off in time, not forgetting to periodically carry out this procedure. The result is a beautiful green solid wall.
Planting and grooming tips
- To plant a tree, you need to find a place open to sunlight. You should not plant a tree in the lowlands, because then water will stagnate, and this negatively affects its growth and development.
- Since the acacia grows over time to a huge size, while it has a spreading crown, initially the place where it will grow should be spacious.
- The tree thrives on any soil, although it prefers a light soil. Good soil for it is a mixture of compost and sand with the addition of one of the components:
- crushed limestone;
- dolomite flour;
- long slaked lime;
- The tree is not afraid of drought and wind. White acacia is planted in a shallow pit, into which a drainage layer is poured. To secure a young seedling, you need to drive a stake in there, and attach it to it. After that, do not forget to water the tree.
- When buying an acacia seedling, you must definitely inspect it. The trunk should be:
- not very thin;
- with beautiful branching.
- A root system is good if it:
- well developed;
- Often the tree is sold in a container. You need to make sure that it is grown in it, and not planted before selling.
Attention! It must be borne in mind that you should not delay the autumn planting, because the earth becomes more humid and colder. As a result, there is a danger of root decay.
If the roots of the acacia peep out through the holes in the bottom, then the seedling grew in it from the very beginning. These plants can be planted at any time.
- The best time for planting seedlings with bare roots, this applies to those grown not in containers, is spring. This procedure must be done before the buds begin to bloom or after the heat subsides - the end of summer or the beginning of autumn. A hole for a seedling must be dug according to the size of the root and a little deeper than its length.
- Sometimes white acacia is propagated by seed. When buying them, be sure to look at the date. The germination period of seeds is limited to three years. Before planting, they must be soaked in water for a day in advance, then put into the grooves, but not deep. The procedure is carried out in the fall or spring.
- The most optimal temperature for good growth of white acacia is + 20 ... + 25 ° С. The highest temperature is + 40 ° С. In winter, the plant can withstand -35 ° C, a lower temperature affects it negatively. It may not be able to withstand such cold weather.
- Young plants need to be watered regularly, adults need additional watering during the driest period. The rest of the time, there is enough natural moisture, which comes in the form of precipitation.
- White acacia fertilizers are required only 3 years after planting. Any complex fertilizer is suitable for this. In early spring and flowering, it is useful to feed with organic compounds.
- Pruning of this tree is done only if necessary. In the summer, branches that are frozen or broken are cut off. In the spring, you can try to make a shape from the crown, although after this procedure, long shoots grow in the white acacia. The tree is transplanted in early autumn or spring. Then there is a high probability that it will take root well.
- With proper planting and proper care, this fast-growing tree will grow 60-80 cm in height and 20-30 cm in width every year. It easily tolerates bad weather conditions.
Important! It should be borne in mind that the white acacia does not respond well to digging up the near-trunk circle, so the earth around the trunk is only slightly loosened. It is not necessary to plant plants in this place, especially bulbous ones.
White acacia reproduces:
- root shoots - shoots;
The easiest way is to propagate by cuttings - the tops of the shoots:
- Cuttings of acacia for propagation are cut at an angle. The length of these cuttings should be at least 10 cm. For better rooting, shoots are placed for 6 hours in a special solution of "Zircon" or "Epin".
- Then, a nutrient soil is prepared from:
- 1 part ready-to-use mixture for flowering plants;
- 0.5 parts vermiculite;
- 1 part sand;
- some charcoal.
One of the main conditions for the favorable growth of young acacia is the presence of a nutritious substrate.
- Before planting the cutting, the ground must be watered, then deepened and covered with a plastic bottle. Place the box in a warm, well-lit place where the temperature does not drop below 22 ° C.
- It will take 2-3 months for rooting, and in order for the process to go faster from below, it is necessary to provide heating.
In spring, white acacia can be propagated by layering:
- This procedure requires a young shoot (no older than 2 years), which grows closer to the surface. Under it, dig a shallow groove in which to lay it. Make several cuts in advance on its underside.
- In order not to straighten the shoot, clamp it with staples made of wire.
- Then it is added dropwise and watered.
- The next spring, this seedling is separated from the tree, and immediately planted in the place where it will grow.
Reproduction of acacia by separating root shoots, which is formed by adult plants, is also performed in the spring. Carefully dig out the root system of the mother tree and chop off the root suckers, necessarily together with a lump of earth. They are immediately planted in a permanent place and watered. When planting several trees, the distance between them should be at least 50 cm.
Can be propagated by seeds - beans. They ripen at the end of November. At this time, they are collected, wrapped in paper and stored in the refrigerator until spring. In the greenhouse, they sow in loose soil in the spring. The distance between them should be 20 cm.
In order for acacia seeds to germinate, a temperature of 22-25 ° C is needed. The growth rate of acacia is such that in a year, under favorable conditions, seedlings grow by about 1 meter, next spring they will be ready for planting in open ground.
Diseases and pests
White acacia refers to a type of tree that is almost not exposed to diseases and pests. For them, the danger is the bagworm butterfly, worms: citrus mealy and Australian grooved. These pests love the green parts and bark of the tree. In order for them not to ruin the plantation, insects and their eggs are collected from young trees, in addition, the tree needs treatment with hydrocyanic acid.
White acacia flowers taste sweet, so in May and June, many insects accumulate on them. These are aphids, wasps, bees and ants that feed on sap.
At this time, they do not harm the tree, however, as soon as flowering ends, these insects, in search of shelter, crawl into cracks in the bark. They begin to eat the leaves and crown, thereby violating the integrity, which ultimately leads to the death of the acacia. This mainly applies to young seedlings.
Attention! In order for insects not to damage the tree, it is necessary to treat the tree several times before flowering with any preparations designed to combat garden insect pests.
Prevention of various problems
Although white acacia perfectly adapts to different growing conditions, it is still necessary to do some work in order for it to delight with its flowering for a long time.
The acacia tree requires:
- Obligatory weeding and mulching of the area around the trunk.
- Only young seedlings should be watered, while the water should not stagnate.
- By all means, trees are treated every spring in order to prevent the development of diseases.
The white acacia is the most beautiful representative of the flora. Once, having planted this tree in your garden, you can enjoy its flowering and exuded aroma for many years. The beautifully blooming white acacia is often decorated with courtyards near houses, streets and parks so that when the season comes, it blooms wonderfully and gives joy to everyone around.