Woolly Wattle

Description

Common names

Woolly Wattle, Hairy Wattle.

Scientific names

Acacia lanigera.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Lanigera, from Latin lana, wool, and gerus, bearing, referring to woolly hairs on "leaves" and stems.

Rainfall

400-700mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

0.5-3m.

Presence in Australia

Noted on the drier hills of many catchments and districts, east of the Olympic Highway.

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

Habitat

Woodland and dry sclerophyll forest, on poor gravely and sandy soil.

Habit

Small erect or spreading shrub 50cm to 3m high, with rigid stems and "leaves". Grey bark and flattened or angled hairy branchlets.

Site preference

Well-drained soils. Tolerates short periods of wetness.

Characteristics

Very long-lived. Moderate growth rate. Wasps form galls on flower buds in some areas. Conspicuous woody galls also caused by a fungus.

Flowering

Golden-yellow, usually Jul-Sept.

Seed collection

Mid Nov to early Jan, when pods are brown and curled. Monitor closely as seeds released immediately or 1-2 days after maturity.

Propagation

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

Regeneration

From seed, particularly after fire. Establishes moderately well when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful for stabilising soil and improving soil fertility. Legume, improves soil fertility by "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Flowers are a pollen source for native moths, butterflies and other native insects, and a nectar-source for birds including honeyeaters. Insect-eating birds attracted. Native birds, including parrots and pigeons eat seeds.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental for gardens, due to foliage and early flowering. Prune after flowering to maintain shape. Adaptable.