I have 4 'Cousin Itt', which is amazing given that I was put off by the price of the plant when I first became aware of it. Initially, it couldn't be found for less than $40; however, when I came across it at Sperling Nursery in Calabasas for less than half that price, I snapped up 2. I later picked up another at full price. I hadn't planned on purchasing more but, when I found one offered for $15 at the South Coast Botanic Garden's fall plant sale, I brought it home and put this one in a pot, where it appears to be very happy.
|My newest Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' has visibly grown in size since it was potted in early September|
The other 3 are placed in the backyard border underneath one of our California pepper trees (Schinus molle). The 2 purchased from Sperling were smaller than the other 2 at time of purchase and have never had the thick head of foliage 'Cousin Itt' is known for. The third looks almost exactly as it did at time of purchase some 9-10 months ago. All get some shade during the hottest part of the day but these 3 also have to deal with root competition from the tree.
|The 2 Sperling purchases have lacy frameworks unlike the plants grown by San Marcos|
|This one, from San Marcos Growers, appears to be approximately the same size as it was when it was planted 9-10 months ago|
Like their namesake, Cousin Itt of the Addam's Family, the plants welcome petting. They're evergreen and hail from Australia. They'll reportedly grow 2-3 feet tall and up to 4-6 feet wide. They need well-draining soil and are heat and drought tolerant. If grown in a container, San Marcos Growers recommends using a low phosphorus fertilizer. They can tolerate winter temperatures in the 20-25 degree range and are suited to USDA zones 9a-11 (Sunset zones 16-24).
I've yet to see any sign of flowering, even in the oldest plants, which have been in the ground for well over a year now and could find no photos of the pale yellow blooms anywhere on the web. However, with foliage this nice, flowers really don't matter.
Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' is my contribution to Loree's favoite plants meme at danger garden. Visit her blog to see her favorite of the week.