Monday, May 2, 2011

Acacia 'Cousin It'

I’m afraid I’ve become slightly obsessed by a plant I’ve never even seen. Never seen in person that is, I’ve seen several pictures. For the first time on the wonderful blog Piece of Eden (above and below). Then just a few days later this same plant shows up on the Martha Stewart Garden Blog when Tony Bielaczyc visited the Ball Horticulture Pack Trials. Here is the picture from Martha’s blog… Isn’t it hot!? Kind of like a Restio crossed with Hakonechloa. Here’s what MSGB had to say about it: “This is Acacia 'Cousin It'. The name is nearly as charming as the plant itself. It's a slow grower and perfect for containers, which is what Ball is working toward with many of their woodies, adapting them as container plants.”

Next I went to the San Marcos Growers website to learn more. Here are a couple of their pictures… And what they have to say: “Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' (Little River Wattle) - A low growing mounding form of the River Wattle, Acacia cognata, with tight growth to 2 to 3 feet tall by 3 to 6 feet wide with light green, sometimes red tinged, new growth that matures to a rich emerald green. This plant has not been noted in bloom but likely would have the very pale yellow flowers of the species. Plant in full sun to part shade in a well drained soil. Once established it will require only occasional irrigation. The literature lists it hardy to 15°F but we feel that the tips likely will freeze at 20-25° F as with the species but this likely will not be as damaging as it is to the tree form and serve as a light pruning on this shrub form. This plant was first released in Australia as Acacia cognata 'Mini Cog' but is making its debut in the US under the marketing name Cousin Itt by Ball Ornamental Plants” And going to the Ball Ornamental Plants site I learned this:

Scientific Name: Acacia cognata 'Mini Cog'
Common Name: Cousin Itt Acacia
Hardiness Degree: 15°F (-9.4°C)
Plant Habit: Spreading, Mounded
Spacing: 18 - 36" (46 - 91cm)
Height: 36" (91cm)
Width: 36" (91cm)
Exposure: Sun
Grower Information: A Ball Ornamentals Exclusive.
A Low-Water Needs Variety.
Evergreen shrub with compact, mounded, spreading habit and green, weeping foliage. Low water requirements make it great for dry Mediterranean landscapes or as a container plant for colder, wetter climates. It also features a high tolerance of heat in the southern United States. No flowers have been observed. Perfect for foundation plantings or large/mixed containers.

Naturally I’ve fallen for a plant that isn’t hardy here in Portland. But yet I imagine a thick border along the front of the house, choking out the Bishops Weed and looking fabulous!

16 comments:

  1. Those are lovely...especially the large swathe of them...remind me quite a bit (texture-wise) of Amsonia...except, of course, that's not evergreen.

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  2. If I find it, it's coming home!

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  3. My guess is that these will be expensive the first few years...but wow, what a great plant!

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  4. Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' is a cute plant, the first time I saw it at work, I was shocked that it was an Acacia. Matti

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  5. < Naturally I’ve fallen for a plant that isn’t hardy here in Portland. But yet I imagine a thick border along the front of the house, choking out the Bishops Weed and looking fabulous!

    As if that's ever stopped me from purchasing a plant. Especially a way cool plant like this!

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  6. The foliage is glossy as well as draping. A very beautiful plant.
    Hakonechloa macra might be a fair if shorter and deciduous substitute in colder climates.

    Great post!

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  7. Yeah, this is a stunner for sure. It looks like it would be soft to the touch and probably has a fragrance too. Another contender for your basement or greenhouse during the winter. :)

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  8. Bring that scary plant on! I'm ready to experiment. I will certainly be on the lookout.

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  9. I like how soft it looks--a great foil for pointier other plants. I wonder if it's as soft to the hand as it appears. Lots of soft-looking plants end up feeling like a mud-caked orangutan.

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  10. scott, the evergreen part is a definite plus! (if you can get over the not hardy here part).

    Denise, price is no object?

    ricki, I think you are correct.

    Matti, have I mentioned how lucky you are? You know, to work THERE.

    Van, exactly.

    Thanks Hoover, I hope you'll keep us updated on how your plants are doing!

    Grace, well you've got me figured out that's for sure.

    compost, so will it be hardy for you?

    James, I am curious just how many a mud-caked orangutans you've touched?

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  11. Looks like another candidate for the danger (potted) garden. You are on an increased acacia trajectory lately, I see. It's a soft, drapey one this time!

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  12. Great plant I saw it at the nursery. I wonder if it will grow in a desert climate?

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    1. Ozzie LandscaperFebruary 09, 2012

      should grow in desert climate, like most acacias they like poor soils and plenty of sun. They will need some TLC at first because the nurseries spoil young plants with too much water. You should be able to wein them off the water dependency in 4 - 8 weeks. good luck

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  13. I've been dreaming of this plant ever since I first stumbled upon a photo of Acacia cognata 'Limelight'! I love the weeping habit and that it is evergreen. The photo was on an Australian's blog and they were using the plant in street median plantings- I've been waiting for years to find this plant in the states. I'm going to start using Cousin ITT in my designs!

    Cheers,
    Kate Wiseman
    Sage Outdoor Designs
    www.sageoutdoordesigns.com

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  14. Ah - should have know that you would have a post on this plant! I'm so bummed... I guess I was overwhelmed, and in the excitement of taking it all in, I forgot to buy it when I had the chance. Oh well... You know, it would look fantastic paired with that red-leaved wonder I also didn't buy. DAMN!

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  15. Bought two at a nursery near here..nursery is in Loomis, CA, High Hand Nursery. They have survived our cold spell last few weeks (got down to about 22) but do seem to have a little yellowing of the leaves.

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