Celebrating Wattle Day at Kurrawonga

What better way to celebrate the beginning of spring?!

National Wattle Day is celebrated annually on the first day of September to show our appreciation of one of our most beautiful native plants. Australia’s national floral emblem is the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), and Australia is home to over 1,000 species of wattles which boast a wide range of flower and foliage types.

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)

We celebrated Wattle Day this year at Kurrawonga,  with a wonderful display of  the variety of wattles  in our local area. You can see from the photos below the wide range of foliage, from the needle-like Jumping Jack (Acacia enterocarpa), through to the pinnate phyllodes of the Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), as well as the differences in flower shape and colour.

Bryan brought along  different types of wattle timbers he has used in his woodwork, and showed us a range of insects and beetles that use the trees for food and habitat.

Left to right: Jumping Jack Wattle (Acacia enterocarpa), Myrtle Wattle (Acacia myrtifolia), Coastal/Sallow Wattle (Acacia longifolia) & Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana), Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), and Gold Dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea).

Wattles are native to Australia, but some species can become environmental weeds outside of their home range. Sallow Wattle (Acacia longifolia) and Coastal Wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae) are from of the coastal areas of south-eastern Australia. They readily hybridise and have become a significant threat to local bushland ecosystems. Acacia longifolia is incredibly invasive, which has allowed it to spread far inland beyond its native range. This has caused dense monoculture infestations which out-compete indigenous species and result in loss of plant diversity.

Acacia longifolia is one of the many weeds that have been the focus of bush care work at Kurrawonga. Weedy wattle removal is undertaken by a combination of hand pulling, cut and swabbing, and vigorous chainsawing. We were pleased to discover that last year’s weed control efforts were very effective! This year we spent a few hours before lunch continuing to locate and removal weedy wattles from the outer edges of the property.

Sharing wattle-seed damper around the campfire at Kurrawonga.

We finished off the day around the campfire eating freshly made wattle seed damper and other wattle seed goodies, sharing stories and enjoyed a wattle-related poem! Thank you to everyone that came along and made it such an enjoyable Sunday!

Kurrawonga will be hosting its next working bee on Saturday 12th October from 9am – 2pm (Vic time) including a grid search, bush clean-up, and orchid survey. For more information or to register your interest, please Nicole.

The ‘goodies’ at Kurrawonga for National Wattle Day.

Lu-Wei Spinks
Lu-Wei Spinks
lu-wei.spinks@natureglenelg.org.au