Cootamundra Wattle, Purple Fern Leaf Acacia, Bailey's Purple Acacia 'Purpurea'

Acacia baileyana

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Acacia (a-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: baileyana (bay-lee-AY-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purpurea




Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Encinitas, California

Lamont, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Reseda, California

Richmond, California

San Francisco, California

Stockton, California

Austin, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 6, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Here in southern CAlifornia this is thankfully not an invasive species... it is pretty slow growing in our dry summers, but drought tolerant. I have never seen one taller than 20' and that was exceptional. THey tend to be neat, tidy trees and, if pruned regularly, make excellent landscaping trees. The color is unique.. and NO thorns (great, for an acacia!). As for hardiness, it certainly is more cold hardy than zone 10b, as these grow all over southern California in many zone 10as and I had one in Thousand Oaks, a decidedly zone 9b without any frost damage than I can recall (got down to 26 over night frequently)

On the negative side, this is a sticky tree... anything you plant below it will get covered with a fine layer of sticky goo (pollen and saps) that will then att... read more


On Apr 17, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

This plant is rather unfashionable in Australia as it is quite invasive outside its own region. It is a lovely acacia. My father-in -law had one in Southern Tasmania that was snowed on fairly regularly and showed no harm. A bigger threat seems to be a warm wet Summer where growth is so fast the tree breaks under the additional weight. He pruned severely in Summer, and lost the tree the year he forgot.


On Aug 22, 2002, Baa wrote:

An evergreen, fast growing cultivar, small tree or large shrub.

Has very showy, purple overlayed with grey/silver, 2 pinnate leaves. Bears bright gold, spherical flowerheads in late winter to spring.

It's not particularly hardy and there is a lot of conflicting information as to just how low a temperature it will stand. Personally I'm hedging my bets and bringing it in over winter.

Grow in a well-drained sheltered site, protect from frost and cold winds.