Saturday, August 4, 2007
Anticipating Spring: Acacia Cultriformis (Wattle)
The buds on our Knife Wattle (Acacia Cultriformis) are beginning to colour up. The inset in the photo gives you a hint of what the flowers look like once they open. When the sun hits these blossoms, the whole shrub lights up as if it were electrified. Here in Australia, the Wattles are the heralds of spring.
I believe this is called the Knife Wattle due to the shape of the leaves. We purchased this one at the Mount Annan Botanical Gardens in April 2005. The day we planted it, it was a single trunk only 61cm (2 feet) tall. Today it has several trunks just over 2 meters (7 feet) tall. At maturity we expect the shrub to be 3 meters (approx 10 feet) tall and 2 meters (7 feet) wide.
The cascading branchlets bloom in profusion, calling in all manner of birds. The bees love it too. We have horrible chalky soil, and yet it has thrived. As a member of the acacia family, as it grows it will improve the soil by adding nitrogen and breaking up the chalk. A winner all round, I cant for the life of me wonder why I dont see more of these growing.
Once this shrub hits full bloom, I will take its photo again. In the meantime, try to keep warm, and remember: Spring is coming!