As a dedicated plant lover, what I look for first with any plant is its foliage and how it would work in the garden. The plant Acacia cognata is one that seems to fit in well almost anywhere – as either a formal plant or in mixed planting.
There are numerous dwarf forms, those that I have tried are ‘Limelight’, ‘Fettucine’ and ‘Mini Cog’. There has been a lot of hype about ‘Limelight’ of late, but I have not had a lot of success with it. Because of this, I am now trialling it in a pot, which I plant on incrementally as the plant seems to require. I have found the other two to be far stronger in growth.
The parent plant grows up to 10m in good conditions. Commonly called the River Wattle, this very attractive weeping wattle has pale yellow flower balls between July and October. The plant is endemic to Australia, naturally occurring in NSW and Victoria. Pruning is not required to keep the plant looking good.
All of the cultivars are frost tolerant, suitable for coastal and inland planting, are relatively drought tolerant once established and tolerate full sun to part shade. The variety ‘Mini Cog’ grows .75 cm tall by 1.8 metres across.
‘Fettucine’ is more compact, with the same height but half the spread. The foliage has a twisted appearance to it, making it a very desirable plant in the garden or rockery as a foliage display.
The variety ‘Copper Tips’ is fast growing and quite stunning. We have it growing in a couple of places in our garden, in full sun and in quite a bit of shade under gum trees. Both are doing really well. It will grow up to 6 metres tall in an upright fashion, but will probably spread somewhat with age. The new growth is copper coloured, hence the name. It is a fantastic foliage plant, but also has potential as a screen plant because it is quite dense. Planted in a row behind other foliage or general shrubbery, it would make an excellent feature screen.
‘Lime Magik’ is a soft lime green form with strongly pendulous foliage like a Weeping Willow. This plant will grow to 4 metres, initially quite erect but broadening with age. It has pale yellow flowers but it is the foliage that this plant is grown for, like the ‘Copper Tips’.
The main prerequisite of this plant and its cultivars is the need for good drainage. Irrigation is needed while young and actively growing, but once well established, will tolerate dryness well. If planted near to trees, then supplementary water will be needed during extended periods of dry.