Spreading Wattle

Description

Common names

Spreading Wattle, Early Wattle, Wild Irishman, Broom Wattle, Spreading Wattle.

Scientific names

Acacia genistifolia, Acacia diffusa.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Refers to likeness of foliage to some broom (Genista) species.

Rainfall

400-700mm.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

1-3m.

Presence in Australia

Mainly in areas north-east of the Olympic Highway. Noted in the areas Oberne-Tarcutta; Mates Gully; Upper Burkes; Upper Kyeamba; Livingstone; O"Briens South & McLeods; O"Briens North; Lower O"Briens & Tywong; Lake Albert; Yerong Creek-Wattle Creek; Binni; Lower Sandy; Sawyers-Forest-Four Post & Little Billabong, and Yambla.

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

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll forest on gravely and shaley soils.

Habit

Erect or spreading, much-branched spiny shrub, 1-3m high.

Site preference

Well-drained soil. Dappled shade, partial or full sun. Withstands extended wet or dry periods and frost.

Characteristics

Adaptable and fast-growing. Very hardy.

Flowering

Pale yellow to more or less white, usually Jul-Oct. Long flowering period. Pungent perfume.

Seed collection

Late Nov to late Dec. Monitor closely as seeds released immediately or within 1-2 days of maturity.

Propagation

From seed (45-84 viable seeds per gram), or cuttings.

Regeneration

From scarified seed.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Coloniser of bare land. Legume, improves soil fertility by "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Useful refuge for small native birds due to prickliness.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental, particularly when flowering (during "off" season). Useful barrier plant to direct traffic and for low maintenance areas. Often self-seeds in garden.