Thursday, June 16, 2011

Still my Favourite Winter Flowers

Acacia podalyriifolia
FAMILY: MIMOSACEAE
I always feel gloomy as the day length creeps toward the shortest day of the year.

So I enjoy the cheery optimism of this, one of our best local wattles. It is sometimes called “Mt. Morgan wattle”, but its range is wider than that, so its other name is Queensland silver wattle.

I photographed this lovely specimen in a Warwick garden last weekend. Isn’t it splendid?

This particular one may not be kept for much longer, as older plants tend to get scruffy. New ones take two years to flower from seed, so it’s as well to always have a new one coming on, ready to replace the old. Mature plants like this will often produce a few seedlings, without the gardener having to make any effort at all. The healthiest plants are those which come up of their own accord, so it’s worth saving a well-placed one.
The seedlings are rather fun, as they begin by having true leaves - fine ferny ones - but soon let their “false leaves” take over. What you see on a mature tree are not really leaves. They are phyllodes - leaf-stalks which have widened and flattened. They don’t lose water the way true leaves do, so they help to drought-proof the plant.
See June 5, 2009, for more on this plant.

2 comments:

Walker said...

Nice pics! So I enjoy the cheery optimism of this, i like it..
Thanks for sharing with us..
Flowering Trees Tennessee

Patricia Gardner said...

Yes, Queensland winters can be full of flowers. This is an early wattle. The best time for most species (and there are 960 Acacia species in Australia) is in August. Tourists rarely get to see them.
It's cold here this week, though, despite the blue skies. A bit of Tennessee summer feels like a good idea to me, at present!
Trish