11 June 2013

Ask RiotACT - Is this wattle early?

| Barcham
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Rioter Grump has a question for the Riot collective:

Hi, just noticed some wattle blooming up the end of the street – can the hive mind say whether this is normal (I suspect it’s a good 8 weeks early) or is this another harbinger of global warming?

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Ryoma, contrary to what the purists say, you can prune whenever you like. It matters if you are entering your garden or plant into some sort of contest, but other than that – meh.

The worst thing that can happen is that you prune off the flowering bits – but that rectifies itself the following year.

My liquidamber and birch trees are pruned by parrots. There is a constant shower of twigs (some 1m long) as they break off bits so as to nibble on the seeds. The trees are in primo condition.

The way I prune roses is to cut the whole plant back to about 30cm above the ground (for bush roses) or just above the central stem (for standards). They thrive on it.

However, certain types of conifers, azaleas, camellias and other plants are very sensitive to pruning. Care should be taken, if it is done at all.

In your case, just go for it. It certainly won’t kill your plant. Cheers 🙂

eily said :

Its not Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra wattle), the leaves aren’t fernlike.

Yeah, when I first saw the pic I figured it was our weedy Cootamundra Wattle (in which case it would be a tad early) but hten noticed the leaves were wrong. Not sure what it is, I haven’t seen any wattles out yet but I bet there’s some at the NGA.

I drove from Mount Gambier to Hahndorf to Mildura two weeks ago and the wattle was blooming everywhere! And last weekend driving to Gippsland and back, I saw quite a bit in bloom as well. It also seemed early to me, but I’ve thought that for several years, so I’m thinking I should realign what I consider early for wattle!

Not sure, but I have a cherry tree and a persimmon in my garden. Both are supposed to be deciduous, and both started losing leaves not long after ANZAC Day. So far, so good, right?

I had a look at them yesterday, and both of them have green buds on them, as if it’s spring already….what the?….

And this is despite the frost and fog we’ve had recently, which has killed some of the smaller stuff in the garden. I was going to give both a bit of a prune as they are supposedly “dormant”; but it’s been wetter and warmer than usual this year.

Any ideas from keen gardeners – do I just give them a pruning anyhow, or wait another two or 3 weeks for the weather to get properly, consistently, cold, as opposed to just being so at night?

And if you want flowering early and out of season, three/ four weeks ago I saw both a bearded iris and a lilac (which was still shedding its leaves) in flower.

As someone who is allergic to the pollen (in the form of my face blowing up into a blowfish)…

S#1T!!!!! 🙁

Mr Evil said :

Wattle in Canberra in bloom in June = Global warming + we’re all going to die………

Hopefully not from rising sea levels. We’d be in real trouble then…

Wattle in Canberra in bloom in June = Global warming + we’re all going to die………

StevenBailey said :

I used to know a lovely old woman in the little country town of Delegate who swore black and blue that the first wattle blooms meant snow. She was right once.

If the world was the shape of a bullock, Delegate would be under its tail. Or is it Dalgety, I always mix the two up…

eily – you’re right, of course. On reflection, it looks more like a. podalyriifolia, the Queensland Silver Wattle. This amazing plant grows everywhere from tropical Qld to Victoria, and is frost hardy, according to the Botanical Gardens site:


Mind you, there are so many wattles that it could still be something else. 🙂

For one thing, it supposedly flowers in late winter, so unless there are strong regional variations, early June is pretty unusual. But, some plants get tricked into flowering again in late autumn (eg some of my azaleas) if the conditions are right.

StevenBailey7:10 pm 11 Jun 13

I used to know a lovely old woman in the little country town of Delegate who swore black and blue that the first wattle blooms meant snow. She was right once.

Its not Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra wattle), the leaves aren’t fernlike.

Useless information you cannot live without: ‘Cootamundra wattle’ is the colour used by the ACT fire brigade for their fire fighting appliances (according to Wiki)

Looks like Cootamundra wattle, which is a bit of a weed in this part of the world.

It might be a bit early this year, but there was a heap of it growing near my old workplace which always flowered sometime in June. Probably just the fact of a fair few sunny days and a bit of rain at the right time providing prime flowering conditions this year.

Holden Caulfield4:39 pm 11 Jun 13

I guess it is a bit early, but there’s usually a lot of acacia plants in flower along the Fed/Hume Hwy en route to Sydney in the cooler months.

There’s a ~1000 species of Acacia in Australia. Most sp. are spring-summer but there’s a few species that flower in autumn and winter. Without knowing the actual species, (not a botanist) I couldn’t say.

You could record the date and return every year to record the flowering events. For Science!

Some wattles flower in winter, I used to enjoy the NGA sculpture garden that had a variety of exotic wattles flowering when it was crisp and cold. The one in the picture isn’t exotic and is a smidge early, but you’ll see others coming on through June/July and into spring.

I had associated them with late winter flowering, not the start of June, hence the question – I know wattle has species which flower at all times of the year – just not ‘ready’ for it this early associating it with the days getting warmer! Sorry 😉

Holden Caulfield3:44 pm 11 Jun 13

Wattle flowers in winter does it not?

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