For most situations, we would not recommend installing this plant in new gardens, landscapes, or plantings in southern California.
We recommend considering planting Desert Museum palo verde, desert willow, or pink chitalpa instead.
This plant profile is included in this site as a reference for two primary reasons:
- If you already have this plant in your landscape, this information can be used to know how to care for it.
- If you already have this plant in your landscape, you can use this information to learn which of our recommended plants have the same recommended watering needs, making them potential choices for grouping together if you will be adding new plants to the existing area.
In general, instead of this plant, we recommend planting appropriate California native plants whenever possible.
In addition to their beauty, California native plants offer the most additional benefits beyond just low water use, including habitat for the birds, butterflies, and pollinators who evolved here with them. This adds value and beauty in your landscape beyond just a pretty plant, allowing the landscape to actively contribute to the environment instead of just using less water. You can find our top recommended native plant choices on our Plant Finder by selecting “California Native” and learn more about California native plants here.
To learn what exactly California native plants are and how they are different from other low water plants, visit this link.
For visual interest or other reasons, some people may also want to mix in other non-native low-water demanding plant choices even though they do not have the same ecological value as native plants. For that reason, we feature a number of non-native waterwise selections on this site as well. However, we see native plants as the best “go to” for most landscape or garden choices! We encourage people to consider planting at least 50% of their landscape to native plants. See our Garden Designs section or visit our Waterwise Demonstration Garden in Montclair for plenty of inspiration.
Mulga grows into a medium size evergreen tree, 15-20 ft. high and as wide with an upright branching structure and open foliage habit comprised of narrow silvery-gray phyllodes. Bright yellow flowers are modestly attractive from mid to late summer. Since this species is grown in nurseries from seed, there is often a range of variation in growth habit, foliage and flowering character of individual trees.
Mulga is the most widespread species of acacia in Australia. It grows in interior regions where annual rainfall varies from 4-20 in. and within warm and dry climate zones. Throughout its native range, soils are mostly acidic sands or sandy loams. These soils are often very low in available nitrogen and phosphorus. It is adapted to heat, sun, aridity and extended periods of summer drought, and tolerates cold temperatures to 20°F.