Varieties of Acacia Cognata

Acacia cognata is a native of Australia and part of the larger Acacia genus, which contains about 800 species. Acacias in general are known as "wattles", a term used to describe flexible tree branches or shrubby canes that can be interwoven to form structures. Acacia cognata is also sometimes known as "bower wattle" or "river wattle." It is a small tree, reaching from 10 to 30 feet tall, with pendulous branches and bright green leaves. In spring, cognatas sport fluffy, pale yellow flowers.

Acacia Cognata: "Emerald Curl"

This small tree grows 13 to 16 feet tall, with narrow, curling foliage. It thrives in sun to part shade and can tolerate some dry spells. It is somewhat frost tolerant and can be used alone as a specimen tree or grouped for use as hedging.

Acacia Cognata: "River Cascade"

River Cascade is typical of smaller cognata varieties that work well in small home gardens or other tight spaces. It is short--topping out at about five feet tall, with the same pendulous branches as larger cultivars. It could be used for pot culture or as a low hedge.

Acacia Cognata: "Limelight"

The fashion for lighter green or golden-green leaves has not passed by the acacias. Limelight is, as the name suggests, lime green and one of several cognata cultivars with the same shade of bright foliage. It is small, only 1.5-feet tall, and low enough to serve as a front of the border or even an edging subject. It has the same fine, narrow-leafed foliage as other cognata varieties.

Acacia Cognata: "Mop Top"'

Mop Top is distinguished by two features: dark, purplish leaves and short stature. It is even shorter than the Limelight, reaching barely 3 feet tall. Because of its dramatic color, it is an excellent plant to grow in a pot or use as a contrast specimen in a backyard landscape.

Acacia Cognata: "Waterfall"

This cognata has a cascading habit, making it excellent for growing at the top of a rock wall, in a very large urn or anywhere else where its foliage can trail freely. The branches can be over 6 feet long. Like other cognatas, it does best in full sun.

Keywords: acacia cognata varieties, river wattle varieties, bower wattle varieties

About this Author

Elisabeth Ginsburg, a writer with twenty years' experience, earned an M.A. from Northwestern University and has done advanced study in horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. Her work has been published in the "New York Times," "Christian Science Monitor," "Horticulture Magazine" and other national and regional publications.