Monday, 12 August 2019 08:55

Blooming Wattles

Days are getting longer and that means the tight little balls clinging onto the wattle branches will soon be bursting forth with a stunning display of yellow. As well as providing this vibrant show of colour, wattles are also important in the ecological functioning of our landscape.

One example of the key role wattles play is as an important food source for the Sugar Glider and Squirrel Glider. These furry creatures use wattle gum as a winter food resource. In warmer months these Gliders then feast on beetles. An absence of wattles is thought to result in increased beetle attack on eucalypts in summer.

Greening Australia recommends a mix of wattles with new plantings and revegetation areas. A ratio of 2 wattles to 1 eucalypt is suggested.

Wattles provide habitat for small birds such as Yellow and Brown Thornbills, finches, wrens and fantails. These smaller birds feed on insects attracted to the area, shelter in the foliage and nest amongst the branches. The Noisy Myna, although native, can become a nuisance and displace these smaller birds from plantings dominated by eucalypts only.

Wattle pollen is often blamed for triggering hayfever and allergies, however it is far more likely to be grasses and exotic tree species. Wattle pollen grains are relatively large and tend to fall straight to the ground rather than being blown about like some of these other species. Wattle also produce far less pollen relative to grasses and other trees such as pine, elm, ash and oak.

Another important function of wattles is to remind us spring is just around the corner. Wattles remind us to make the most of the final days of winter, cosy at the fire, sharp chill in the morning, warm soups for lunch. Before we embrace the new season and all the delights it brings.

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Monday, 12 August 2019 08:59

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