Golden wattle, or Acacia pycnantha, is the floral emblem of Australia. This beautiful tree flowers in late winter and spring, producing a mass of fragrant, fluffy, golden yellow flowers that makes Golden wattle one of the showiest trees available to the spring garden. Depending on circumstances, it is a fast growing tree that can reach 25 feet in height with generally smooth, grey-brown bark. Interestingly, mature Golden wattles do not have true leaves but have phyllodes. In some plants, the petioles, which are leaf stalks, become flattened and widened, and the true leaves dwarfed or eliminated altogether while the phyllodes serve the purpose of the leaf. In the case of Golden wattle, the phyllodes are an attractive, shiny, dark green and between 4 to 8 inches long. But, of course, it is the flower that is the real gem of Golden wattle. These rounded inflorescences are bright, true yellow and occur in clusters of between 4 and 23. And later in the season these are followed by flattish, seed pods.

Golden Wattle occurs in southeastern Australia from South Australia to western Victoria and northwards into southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It is often in the under-storey of open eucalypt forests. It grows on a range of sites, from rocky ridge tops to low undulating terrains, and on a variety of soils including calcareous sands, clays and shallow, stony loams

Its beauty has made it popular beyond its original provenance and it is now found in all the southern states of Australia and has even naturalized in South Africa and California.

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Golden wattle

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A TREE A DAY

2017