Celebrating: Wattle Day!

Well it's just about 1 September again, which is Australia's Wattle Day (after some tortuous history, summarised here by Alan Fairley)! I can understand why there was a bit of garment-rending around the date, given that different wattles (Acacias) flower at different times of the year.

But if you had to pick a day, 1 September isn't too bad. There are heaps of wattles in flower, in almost any part of Australia. In Illawarra, you're pretty spoiled, and might find a dozen Acacia species or more in flower at this time of year. Here are just a few of the locals:


A much-maligned Wattle, this is Two-veined Hickory,
(Acacia binervata), showing its delicately veined leaves and
a few emerging flower buds.

Only a baby, this Sickle Wattle (Acacia falcata) is growing in Mangerton.
It will eventually reach 3m or so high. In this region it grows naturally at
 Croom Reserve on sandstone-derived soils, and prefers well-drained soil.

The leaves and flowers of Green Wattle (Acacia irrorata), a bushy shrub
or small tree. It won't flower until later in the spring.
 Image by Byron Cawthorne-Macgregor.

Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. longifolia) with a visitor.
 This species is in flower now. Image by Charles Dove. 

Also an Acacia longifolia, this one is Coastal Wattle (subsp. sophorae), a
super-tough shrub for coastal revegetation. Looking at you Wollongong City Council!
 Image by Leon Fuller. 

One of the region's classic Wattles, this is Maiden's Wattle  (Acacia maidenii), which can become a tall, shapely tree. It is longer-lived than many wattles, and can live up to 40 years. Image by Leon Fuller. 

One of my personal favourites, these are the flowers of Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), a tree to 10m that attracts all sorts of birds and insects. A great shade and habitat tree. Image by Byron Cawthorne-Macgregor.

Gosh, yet another classic local wattle! This one is Blackwood or Acacia melanoxylon. It is flowering now
 around the place. Image by Leon Fuller. 

One of the harder-to-grow local species, Sweet Wattle (Acacia suaveolens) is a delicate shrub with arching cane-like stems and beautiful fragrant flowers. The seed pods are an interesting grey-green-purple. 
Image by Tracee Lea. 

And last but not least, the small prickly leaves and contorted seed capsules of Prickly Moses (Acacia ulicifolia) which prefers sandy soils, as in coastal locations  or up on the plateau to the west of the escarpment cliffline. This plant is growing at Mount Kembla. Image by Emma Rooksby.
What Wattles have you seen flowering recently?


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