For most situations, we would not recommend installing this plant in new gardens, landscapes, or plantings in southern California.
Depending on the situation and desired plant characteristics, our top recommendations of alternative trees to consider include Desert Museum palo verde, desert willow, pink chitalpa, and Catalina cherry.
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.
Shoestring acacia develops into a medium size evergreen tree with an upright habit, 20-40 ft. tall, 15-25 ft. wide. It produces very long and narrow pale green phyllodes, 12-16 in. long, that hang from weeping branches. Light yellow flowers occur in winter and early spring, and are followed by 10-12 in. long bean-type pods in the summer.
This tree is native to warm and dry interior regions of Australia where it grows in light or heavy soils and even in those with some alkalinity and salinity. Natural rainfall is limited to 15-20 in. per year; some areas experience short periods of frost. As a young tree, this species has a tall and open habit, but becomes broader and more dense as it matures. Its long phyllodes hang down and produce a weeping appearance.