In my last column, I talked about the large number of species of wattles (1000 plus). I described the globular and rod-shaped flower clusters shapes.
Reference was also made to wattle phyllodes, the leaf-like structures that are modified leaf stalks. Phyllodes reduce water loss.
Pruning wattles is important to keep plants dense and flowering profusely.
This time it is time to describe some taller species.
Acacia acinacea, the gold dust wattle, is an upright shrub that will reach two metres. The phyllodes are small and oblong. In spring, plants become covered with bright yellow flowers held in globular clusters.
The common name is very apt because in spring plants appear to be covered in sprinkles of gold.
Acacia boormanii is known as the Snowy River wattle because the species is confined to the alpine country of NSW and Victoria.
The Snowy River wattle is a tall, much-branched shrub reaching a height of four metres. The narrow phyllodes are grey-green. Each globular flower head holds up to 10 individual golden blooms.
The Snowy River wattle is a beautiful shrub. Sometimes plants will sucker and form a clump of colourful shrubs.
Acacia cultriformis usually grows into a tall shrub. It is known as the knife-leaf wattle because the phyllodes are knife-shaped. Flowers are bright yellow and usually held in globular clusters.
One form of the knife-leafed wattle develops into a mounded shrub about two metres tall. This form has been planted on the sides of the Tintinhull cutting, north of Tamworth along the New England Highway.
Acacia cultriformis is a widespread species and is found on the NSW western slopes, in Victoria and Qld.
Acacia covenyi is known as the blue bush and is a rare plant, with limited distribution, from a valley west of Moruya on the south coast. This tall shrub, reaching a height of four metres, has narrow flat phyllodes with a blue-green colour (hence the common name).
As with all wattles, this species produces pods that hold a number of black seeds with hard coats. Although rare, this wattle is becoming popular in cultivation.