Prickly Moses

Description

Common names

Prickly Moses, Juniper Wattle, Prickly Moses.

Scientific names

Acacia ulicifolia.

Family

Mimosaceae.

Genus

Acacia.

Name origin

Refers to the gorse-like foliage (Ulex genus).

Rainfall

400mm+.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

0.5-2m.

Presence in Australia

Locally in Murrumbidgee areas Snowball-Stony; Gilmore "Lower Reaches"; Sandy and Gocup. Primarily east of Hume Highway.

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

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, usually on sandy soil.

Habit

Spreading to erect shrub 50cm to 2m high. Smooth grey bark, resinous hairy branchlets and more or less rigid and straight pointed "leaves" 8-15 mm long.

Site preference

Moist well-drained light to heavy soil. Dappled shade or partial sun. Tolerates frost.

Characteristics

Short-lived. Hardy. Fast-growing.

Flowering

Pale yellow to almost white, usually Apr-Oct.

Seed collection

Mid Oct to late Jan.

Propagation

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

Regeneration

From seed. particularly after fire.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

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

Wildlife

Prickly foliage good refuge for small birds. Flowers are a pollen source for native moths, butterflies and other insects, and nectar source for birds such as honeyeaters. Seed a food source for parrots and native pigeons.

Ornamental

Useful barrier, screen or hedge with attractive foliage, for low maintenance areas. Hardy and adaptable.