Soapbush Wattle
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Soapbush Wattle
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Soapbush Wattle, Soapbush, Strap wattle, Candelabra wattle, Silver wattle, Silky wattle
Botanical name: Acacia holosericea    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Acacia leucophylla, Acacia multispirea

Soapbush Wattle is an attractive small shrub to 3 m with yellow flower spikes around 5 cm long. The large soft silvery grey phyllodes (leaves) make it an attractive foliage plant. The large grey-green phyllodes have an ovate-lanceshaped shape with a length of 10-25 cm and a width of 2-9 cm and are covered with white silky hairs, with three to four prominent veins. The flowers are rod-like and bright yellow, 3-5 cm long. The thinly crustaceous seed pods that form after flowering are tightly irregularly coiled and have a width of 2.5-4 mm. The pods are 3-5 cm long and twisted and curled. The soft leaves of Soapbush Wattle can be used as bush soap, producing a soapy form when rubbed in water. The raw seeds can be roasted in hot ashes or collected when dry and ground to a flour base. This flour can then be mixed with water and made into a paste or baked as damper. Fast growing, good for screening. Soapbush Wattle is endemic to Queensland and the Northern Territory, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed at Sant Asharamji Ashram, Lucknow.

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