Acacia saligna (Labill.) Wendl.
Life form: Evergreen shrub or tree
En: Golden Wreath Wattle, Koojong, Fr: Mimosa bleuâtre
Provenance: Southwest and southeast Australia
Open inflorescences and inflorescence
buds of Acacia saligna
Distribution in Israel
The golden wreath wattle is undoubtedly the most widespread and
the most frequent invasive plant species in Israel. It is found
in the entire Mediterranean region of the country and in some
parts of the semiarid area too.
Its distribution is not restricted to roadsides or other heavy
transformed habitats; the golden wreath wattle invades natural
areas, and is reported in many nature reserves and national parks.
Acacia saligna leaves: Researches carried out in Israel
showed that Acacia saligna foliage is valueless for fodder
According to terminology suggested by Richardson et al.
(2000) Acacia saligna in Israel is clearly an "invasive"
alien and more specifically it is an "invasive transformer".
This means that it is "an invasive plant which changes the
character, condition, form or nature of ecosystems over a substantial
area relative to the extent of that ecosystem".
Mature pods of Acacia saligna.
The quantities of seeds produced by the Golden Wreath are very
large comparing to other invasive acacias in Israel.
Acacia saligna in Israel
The golden wreath wattle was introduced into Israel during the
1920s for soil erosion control, particularly on sand dunes.
Today Acacia saligna has become the worst invader amongst
alien plants country-wide, as it occurs in virtually all types
of habitats in the Mediterranean region: on sand dunes, such
as the "Nitzanim sands" nature reserve, on rocky slopes,
as in the "Judean Hills" national park, along river
banks, as in the "Sorek river" nature reserve, and
on alluvial soils, such as in the "Gibton springs"
In many places Acacia saligna creates dense mono-specific
thickets that crowd out all native species. Local plants stand
no chance of growing or sustaining themselves due to the shade
produced by this evergreen tree or shrub.
Unlike most of the invasive plants in Israel, Acacia saligna
can harm the physical structure of some ecosystems, especially
along riverbanks. In these humid habitats individuals of Acacia
saligna grow very fast, and since they are ill-adapted to
flooding regimes many trees fall over and thus dramatically increase
riverbanks erosion. A very similar phenomenon occurs in South-Africa
as reported by D'Antonio & Meyerson (2002).
The golden wreath wattle is the alien plant species that has
drawn most of the recent attention devoted to invasive plants
in Israel. Several control experiments are currently in progress
(see "Control" section in the following). Finally,
it should be mentioned that the use of Acacia saligna
in Israel has also been considered for agroforestry purposes
(Degen et al., 1995; 1997).
Physical treatment alone is ineffective and rather counter-productive
as the cut stumps resprout vigorously, and cutting ultimately
results in multi-stems individuals.
Chemical control can be performed with Glyphosate or Triclopyr.
It is generally recommended to treat cut stumps with these herbicides.
Chemical control experiments are currently in progress in Israel
using the drill-fill and the frilling method with undiluted Glyphosate
(see more details in the "Research" menu).
Another experiment currently in progress in the northern region
of Israel, is the combined use of physical and chemical treatments.
Mature trees are cut, herbicides are applied on the cut stumps
and fire is programmed in order to remove young shoots.
Biological control has been attempted in South Africa (Morris,
1997) with the introduction of a gall-forming rust fungus: Uromycladium
teperianum. Though eradication was not achieved here, the
control showed encouraging results. To this date no biological
control of Acacia saligna has been planned in Israel.
Acacia saligna invading the Judean Hills region.
Bar P., Cohen O. & Shoshany M. (2004) Invasion rate of the
alien species Acacia saligna within coastal sand dune
habitats in Israel. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 52:115-124.
D'Antonio C. & Meyerson L.A.
(2002) Exotic plant species as problems and solutions in Ecological
Restoration: A synthesis. Restoration Ecology 10(4):703-713.
Degen A.A., Becker K., Makker
H.P.S. & Borowy N. (1995) Acacia saligna as a fodder
tree for desert livestock and the interaction of its tannins
with fibre fractions. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Degen A.A., Blanke A., Becker
K., Kam M., Benjamin R.W. & Makker H.P.S (1997) The nutritive
value of Acacia saligna and Acacia salicina for
goats and sheep. Animal Science Pencaitland 64(2): 253-259.
Holmes P.M., Macdonald I.A.W.
& Juritz J. (1987) Effects of clearing treatment on seed
banks of the alien invasive shrubs Acacia saligna and
Acacia cyclops in the southern and south-western Cape,
South Africa. Journal of Applied Ecology 24(3): 1045-1052.
Morris M.J. (1997) Impact of
the gall-forming rust fungus Uromycladium tepperianum
on the invasive tree Acacia saligna in South Africa. Biological
Yelenik S.G., Stock W.D. &
Richardson D.M. (2004) Ecosystem level impacts of invasive Acacia
saligna in the South African fynbos. Restoration Ecology
Acacia saligna invading a sandy habitat along the coast.
The cut stumps of Acacia
saligna resprout vigorously, and cutting ultimately results
in multi-stems individuals.