Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Acacia mariae

Acacia mariae - Golden-top Wattle

Family - Fabaceae (Mimosoideae)

Common name - Golden-top Wattle

Flowers and fruit - Single globose (spherical) golden flower heads in phyllode (leaf) axil. Pods are green and leathery turning brown and crisp when ripe - flat, and 3 to 6cm long. Flowering period is July to October.

Leaves and stems - Acacia 'leaves' are not true leaves, and are called 'phyllodes'. Phyllodes of Acacia mariae are silver grey with a covering of matted hairs, straight or curved and lanceolate, sometimes pressed upwards to the stem. Branches are smooth and grey.

Habit and habitat - An erect or spreading shrub about 1m tall, but can be taller. Acacia mariae is widespread and common in The Pilliga in open woodland and sandy soils, and can present a spectacular sight in flower.

Flower heads are single on 1cm stalks, leaves often pressed upwards

Ripe seed pods of Acacia mariae in The Pilliga

Acacia mariae (Golden-top Wattle) is a showy species
Acacia mariae putting on a spectacular show in the eastern Pilliga