Plant of the Month – July 2016


(Acacia cupularis)

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(Photos:C. Schultz, habitat, phyllodes; flowers)

This little wattle should be flowering shortly; look for it from July into early summer. Although it can grow to about 2m, don’t expect it to be more than 75cm high at Cape Jervis, even though it likes sandy soils and limestone! It is a rounded shrub with an open growth habit. Older branches are grey, younger ones more reddish-brown. The phyllodes (foliage, not true leaves) are about 7cm long and very thin (4mm wide) with a central tip. There is a central rib, and if you look carefully, you might see 2 or 3 small glands on the edges. It takes about 20 little golden flowers to form a flower ball, with 2 or 3 balls grouped together on short stalks. Long, thin brown seed pods follow the flowers in summer. The seeds inside are small at 3-5mm. The pods look ‘nipped in’ between the seeds, and break open readily at these points.  

Weed of the Month – July 2016


(Acacia iteaphylla)

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(Photos: E. Cousins, growth habit, phyllodes and glands, flower clusters; Cape Jervis)

Originally from the Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsula, this shrub is now a bit of a pest in parts of Australia, and indeed has been declared an environmental weed in some…probably because its seeds remain viable for long periods, and germinate readily! Being from an arid region, it is also very hardy. It is fast growing to about 2-4 m tall, with upright branches and attractive bluey grey-green foliage. The foliage is not made up of true leaves, but like many acacias, phyllodes (see 2nd photo).These are very narrow and long (50-100mm), with a little gland at the base. They occur alternately along the stems. The perfumed, lemon-yellow flower balls occur in clusters, mainly in spring. These are followed by blue-green seed pods that go brown in maturity. Pretty shrub, but can be a problem!