June is the month that marks the start of the countdown to yellow. For all those cycling enthusiasts, I’m not talking about the Tour De France and the yellow jersey. (Go Cadel!). I’m talking acacias.
On our property there are over a dozen different species – most of them foreign, some unidentified. They are a legacy from the previous owner, a keen gardener. Each year they start flowering in a specific order until in September–October the hill is ablaze with yellow.
This week the Gawler Range or Willow-leafed Wattle (Acacia iteaphylla) (pictured below) has kicked off the annual cycle. It hails from South Australia but thrives on the dry, rocky soils of Junction Hill. The flowers start off in a delicate cone-shaped bud before emerging.
If history repeats then next to flower will be the Queensland Silver Wattle (A. podalyrifolia), a foreigner from the north that starts flowering in late June. The Cootamundra Wattle (A. baileyana), another foreigner and environmental weed, begins to flower in July. The cycle finishes with the Lightwood (A. implexa) flowering in the new year.
The fact that so many of the acacias shouldn’t be there creates quite a conundrum. Simply taking them out will remove about 10% of the trees on the property. The obvious solution is to plant endemic acacias, let them grow and then remove the invaders. That could take years. OR, I could simply relax and enjoy the unfolding display.
And the fungi are getting in on the yellow act also. Standing no higher than 3 mm these yellow Fairy Lampshades (Omphalina umbellifera) have started appearing on the bare edges of the wallaby trails throughout the property.
There’s gold in them-there hills!