Mulga is a striking evergreen that grows to a moderate fifteen to twenty feet with a ten- to twelve-foot spread. It is an upright, broadleaf tree with dense, needle-like, silvery-gray foliage that gives it an interesting visual, pyramidal appearance. The dark red branches become a darker grayish-brown at maturity. This slow to moderately growing plant can develop a single or multiple trunk. It produces golden yellow, puffy blooms that appear heaviest in the spring or summer, but continue blooming three or four more times during the year. After flowering, flat, brownish-tan, oblong pods appear and then drop from the tree. It is hardy to fifteen to twenty degrees Fahrenheit.
Use it as a freestanding, street tree or in medians. The mulga also makes a great screen or windbreak specimen, or a background tree that is a good choice around pools or water features, since it does not produce messy leaves. The tree is native to western Australia, south Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland, where it grows in clay soils. The Aboriginal word for mulga is “dream seed.”
The mulga prefers full sun and reflected heat. It is drought-resistant but likes regular water to increase its growth rate. The tree tolerates any soil as long as it is well-draining. It is mostly disease free, but sometimes it develops an iron deficiency and should be treated with an iron chelate fertilizer in the spring.