Gold-dust Wattle

Description

Common names

Gold-dust Wattle, Gold-dust Acacia, Round-leaved Wattle.

Scientific names

Acacia acinacea, Acacia rotundifolia.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Acinacea, curved, sword-like, possibly referring to coiled legumes or seed-bearing fruit.

Rainfall

350mm.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

0.3-2m.

Presence in Australia

Common west of the Olympic Highway.

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

Habitat

Woodland. A range of soils, chiefly sand.

Habit

Small spreading shrub 30cm to 2m high with arching branches, angled or flattened branchlets and hairy "leaves".

Site preference

Well-drained soil in full or partial sun. Frost and drought tolerant. Resents poor drainage.

Characteristics

Fast-growing. Lifespan may be several decades.

Flowering

Golden-yellow, usually Aug-Oct. Profuse.

Seed collection

Early Dec to mid Feb. Monitor closely as seeds released immediately or within 1-2 days of maturity. Often produces little seed.

Propagation

From scarified seed (±113 viable seeds per gram). Pour boiling or very hot water over seeds and soak for several hours before sowing. Also from cuttings.

Regeneration

From seed and suckers after fire, forming dense groundcover. Does not establish as readily as most wattles when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Legume - improves soil fertility by "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Flowers are a nectar and pollen source for many native beetles, moths and butterflies. Insect-eating birds attracted. Seeds eaten by birds including parrots, native pigeons and quails, and invertebrates including ants (collections of seed often riddled with seed-eating insects).

Ornamental

Attractive for hedges, screens, rock gardens, under trees and in large tubs. Prune lightly after flowering to promote bushiness (heavy pruning promotes suckering). Self-seeds in garden.