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!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do they still have "Wattle Day" in Australia? My Great Aunt used to remind me, it was her favourite day of the year. They do grow quickly and add 'sun' even if the sun isn't shining :)

Lavender said...

Gee, I havent run across a Wattle Day event, but Im sure somewhere they must, as you cant help be happy when looking at a blooming Wattle :)
Your right about them giving a sunny effect, even on gloomy days they are bright and happy!

Anonymous said...

We'll have to keep our eyes open on September First … Bearman tries to keep his nostrils closed due to blooming sneezing :)

Lavender said...

Oh, brilliant find Anon!
Bearman...thats curious...here we have a Bear and a Bearess, but no 'hybrid' critters :)
Yeah, the wattles are pollen factories, we are very lucky not to suffer such. Time for Bearman to batten down the hatches!

Stuart said...

Great to have found you, Lavender and I love your blog.

The acacias in our area are flowering their heads off at the moment and make an otherwise dull and dreary winter quite enlightening.

Great pics.

Lavender said...

Cheers Stuart, I enjoyed finding your blog too!

Stuarts blog is Gardening Tips N Ideas and he also authors the Gardening Blog Directory
Why not check them out?

Jean-Luc Picard said...

This flower is a new one, Lavender. It's good to see ones I haven't heard of.

Lavender said...

Pleased to hear it Captain, I enjoy the diversity on this planet myself.

barkfoot said...

I heard that if you take a spoonful of locally produced honey once a day, before the pollen is too much it can help with hayfever.

Lavender said...

Thats interesting Barkfoot, and it cant hurt to try it - will pass that on. Cheers!

Ces said...

Acacia? I thought acacias were giant trees! At least that's the acacia I knew, just like the ones in Africa but these latin names have a way of confusing the layman.

Lavender said...

Hi Ces! Well, some Acacias are giant trees, that you often see giraffes eating in documentaries filmed in Africa - so youre right!
Australia and Africa were once joined, so we share some acacias, well, originally anyway hehehe

CyberSt0rm said...

Very nice high quality pictures.

cyberst0rm's tech blog

Lavender said...

Thank you Cyberstorm! I appreciate that, your tech blog is a treasure trove of info!