English name: Coojong
Latin name: Acacia saligna
Family: Fabaceae - Fabaceae
The coojong is a small, dense tree with a short trunk and a weeping habit, growing up to eight metres in height. Like many other species of acacia, it does not have true leaves, but rather phyllodes, or transformed petioles which reach up to 25 cm. in length. At the base, there are phyllode nectary glands, which secrete a sweet liquid. It attracts ants, who in turn apparently serve to defend their hosts against pests. Its yellow, spherical flowers appear late in the winter and the early spring, in groups of up to 10.
The coojong is a colonizing species, tolerating the worse soils, and quickly growing to maturity and spreading just as quickly. In many countries, the coojong is considered to be an invasive species.