Red-stemmed Wattle

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Description

Common names

Red-stemmed Wattle, Red-leaved Wattle, Red-stem wattle, Red Leaf Wattle, Red-leaf Wattle, Redleaf Wattle.

Scientific names

Acacia rubida.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Rubida, from Latin ruber, red, referring to red stems.

Rainfall

650mm.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

2-10m.

Presence in Australia

Noted in the Murray catchment, from as far west as Long Plain-West Hume, to as far east as Coppabella.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA.

Habitat

Usually dry sclerophyll forest on elevated rocky localities. Also riverbanks and swamp edges.

Habit

Erect or spreading shrub or small tree 2-10m high with brownish, finely fissured bark and "leaves" 5-20cm long.

Similar species

May resemble Hickory Wattle/Lightwood (Acacia implexa). Distinguish by reddish tinge in "leaves" as they dry, and by retention of bipinnate foliage.

Site preference

Dry soils. Tolerates frost, drought and limited waterlogging. Semi-shade and full sun.

Characteristics

Very hardy and fast-growing. Juvenile bipinnate leaves persist on plant with adult "leaves", up to 2m high.

Flowering

Pale to golden-yellow, Jul-Nov.

Seed collection

Early Nov to late Dec.

Propagation

From scarified seed. Pour boiling water over seeds and soak for several hours before drying and sowing.

Regeneration

From seed and suckers, particularly after fire.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful for controlling soil erosion due to suckering and soil-binding fibrous roots. Legume, improves soil fertility by "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Flowers are a pollen source for native moths, butterflies and other insects. Insect-eating birds attracted. Seed-eating birds attracted, including parrots and native pigeons. Foliage good cover for small birds.

Ornamental

Valuable ornamental, particularly conspicuous during winter when reddish. Severe pruning after flowering benefits plants.