11 July 2008

Central Coast Goes for Gold - Acacias in Bloom

They might not be the gold medals that Australia is hoping to win at the next Olympic games but the gold I see every day is a winner with me. I love the winter when the Acacias cheer me up by flowering prolifically for months along the sides of highways, the Freeway and semi-country roads. I’ve read that an Acacia can be in flower somewhere in Australia on every single day of the year, but here on the Central Coast we have a little hiatus during late autumn early winter. Then the Acacias begin again and flower on and on, passing the baton one to another before the cycle begins again a year or so later.

On my 10 hectares I have four endemic Acacias, (Acacia irrorata ssp irrorata, Acacia maidenii, Acacia prominens and Acacia binervia, plus one introduced Acacia, Acacia podalyriifolia ) all flowering at different times and all looking quite different in leaf and flower.

Acacia irrorata ssp irrorata

Acacia maidenii

Acacia prominens

Acacia binervia

Acacia podalyriifolia
Once they were safely sorted in my mind I widened my search to the end of my road (2.75 km) and came up with another four, (Acacia suavolens, Acacia terminalis, Acacia falcata and Acacia ulicifolia.

.Acacia suavolens Beautifully perfumed

Acacia ulicifolia Pretty but pointy

.Acacia falcata

Acacia terminalis

After that I decided to include my nearest cross-road, which is a rather long rural connection road, and along came more (Acacia longifolia, Acacia filicifolia, Acacia mearnsii, Acacia decurrens, Acacia hakeoides and another shrub somewhat like Acacia longifolia but with very pale flowers).

Acacia decurrens. I think of this one as bilious green wattle because to me the colour is not as attractive as some of the other yellows.

Acacia mearnsii
(I think)

Acacia filicifolia

Acacia longifolia rather bedraggled in the rain

Pale version of Acacia longifolia

Acacia hakeoides perhaps the most beautiful of them all.

If I include my general vicinity (Sydney region) then there are an astonishing 60-70 species of Acacias or wattles, all sharing generously their golden colour and special wattle perfume

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