Green Thumb | Wattle as Aussie as it gets

GOLDEN AGE: The beautiful Acacia iteaphylla, the Flinders Range wattle. This South Australian native is a hardy plant with an enticing perfume and is at its best in winter.

GOLDEN AGE: The beautiful Acacia iteaphylla, the Flinders Range wattle. This South Australian native is a hardy plant with an enticing perfume and is at its best in winter.

The common name wattle was originally given to any pliant branch or barrier made from soft tree branches. 

Early Australian pioneers used the branches of acacias to make the framework for their dwellings, then they covered the frames with mud. 

This was called ‘wattle-and-daub’ and the word wattle was widely used to describe the trees used in building. 

The word wattle soon became the most well-known common name for the genus Acacia.

 The genus name Acacia comes from the Greek word ‘akis’ which means a barb or a point – Australian acacias aren’t overly prickly but the African species are.

Winter is the time to admire and enjoy the Australian wattle.  Usually yellow-flowered, many will start their flowering during the winter months. 

There are many different wattles and it’s important to select which species is right for your location. Local nurseries are a great source of information about which species would suit.

While I was out with my camera I was drawn to the Acacia iteaphylla by its scent; the sweet perfume was wafting across the walkway at Wodonga TAFE inviting me to go closer. 

The Acacia iteaphylla is a South Australian native. It naturally grows from the Flinders Ranges across to the Gawler Ranges and to the Eyre Peninsula. 

Commonly called the Flinders Range wattle, this tall shrub is fast-growing and quite tough. 

It flowers on and off throughout the year but has a main flush during the winter and the spring. Growing to about four metres, most specimens are pendulous and weep beautifully – so with their silvery foliage and perfumed flowers this plant is extremely attractive.

Another wattle I really like is Acacia cardiophylla, the Wyalong wattle.

This plant has ferny foliage and it produces bright yellow flowers during the spring. 

The Wyalong wattle is a tall shrub growing to three to four metres. It makes a terrific feature plant and it also has a delicate fragrance. 

Wattles are fantastic for attracting bees, butterflies and other insects into the garden.

There are many different species of wattle that excel in the region, and as long as they have sunlight, room to grow and good drainage they can be grown easily.

DIARY 

Jindera 150th Anniversary of Settlement Celebrations includes four open gardens. Saturday, September 29, gardens at Wattle Park, Drumwood and two at Granite Hill will be open from 1-4pm and entry is by gold coin donation. 

The village of Jindera will be a hive of activity on September 29 and 30.