Acacia sieberiana

Botanical Name: Acacia (Vachellia) sieberiana

Synonym:                   Acacia woodii Burt Davy

Common Name:      Paperbark Acacia                  

Plant Family:             Mimosoideae

Origin:                        Africa

References:               Coates Palgrave p.299, Timberlake p.122-123, Dharani p.158-159. S.A. No. 187, Zimb. No. 224

Description: A common, large, flat-topped, deciduous tree with grey, corky, peeling bark with yellow under-layer. Thorns are short, straight or slightly hooked, grey and paired (5cm) although older trees may be largely thornless. Medium-sized, bipinnate leaves (8-15cm), with up to 20 pairs of small (3mm) pale green leaflets. Flower a sweet-smelling white ball appearing with new leaves. The fruit a stout, woody, straight, yellow-brown pod (up to 15cm), with distinct valves. The pod is largely indehiscent (does not split).

Features of Particular Interest:  Flat-topped tree shape and profuse white flowers.

Height and Spread: 10m – 17m high, 5m – 10m spread.

Periods of Interest:                          

Flowering:  August to October.

Fruiting: November to June.

Bark: All year round.

Leaf: September to May.


Soil and Moisture:   Acacia sieberiana occurs in a variety of soils. Plant in full sun or semi shade and water regularly. It is drought resistant.

Aspect: Tolerant of growing situations but enjoys and open location.

Hardiness: Drought tolerant.

Maintenance and Pruning: None required.

Propagation:  Acacia sieberiana is relatively easy to germinate. The seed should be planted with a light sand/soil cover and watered regularly. Transplant into larger bags when several leaves have appeared.

Problems and Drawbacks: Roots not known to be intrusive, but it will lose its leaves in winter, so do not plant near swimming pools.
Use and Associated PlantingAcacia sieberiana with its flat umbrella shape and white flaky bark also good in urban landscaping.