Plant Profile – Brisbane Wattle

Wattle or Acacia trees are iconic in Australia because of their golden blooms. This variety is just as striking as the Golden Wattle which is Australia’s floral emblem.

The green leaves and gold flowers of the Wattle tree are the inspiration for Australia’s representative colours. This flowering Brisbane Wattle shows how splendidly the colours complement each other.

Also known as:

  • Acacia fimbriata
  • Fringed Wattle
  • Fringed Brisbane Wattle

Growing Conditions:

  • Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Protected positions
  • Will tolerate most soils but prefers well-drained loamy soils
  • Drought tolerant when established
  • Shrub or small tree up to 6 metres tall

Propagation:

  • Seeds
  • Cuttings
A Brisbane Wattle starting to bloom, eventually the tree will look almost all yellow as it reaches the peak of the flowering season.

This Acacia is found in coastal regions and tablelands from Brisbane south to Sydney. The second half of the scientific name, “fimbriata” is Latin for “fringed” and refers to the tiny hairs on the leaves. The leaves, like those on most Acacia species, are not true leaves. Rather, they are “phyllodes”, or modified stalks, helping the tree prevent moisture loss. We have lots of these trees in our area and the profusion of yellow that lines the roads and pops up in the bush is wonderful to behold!

The flower buds start to appear in early Winter but they take almost two months to burst into flower.

It’s a great plant to help prevent erosion and with pruning makes an effective and pretty privacy screen. The thick foliage weeps in a way that reminds me of weeping willows although, of course, it doesn’t hang as low as a willow.

First Nation Peoples in Australia harvested the nutritious seed which is up to 25% protein. They were eaten straight from the tree or roasted to make a paste or damper. In season the seed pods are abundant, suggesting an excellent yield for anyone taking the time to harvest from this tree.

This Scaly-breasted Lorikeet baby fell from its nest before it was ready to fledge. Unperturbed it climbed the Brisbane Wattle and took refuge in its thick foliage until it was ready to fledge.

King Parrots love the seed pods from this plant. The King Parrots in our area have trained many residents to feed them, but when the Brisbane Wattles are covered in seed pods they ignore the humans and forage instead. It’s leafy crown offers excellent coverage for small birds. We even had a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet chick sheltering in one of ours after it fell from the nest. It remained in the tree, visited frequently by the parents until it fledged.

Wishing you glorious green and gold in your garden,

Jane Frost

References:

Australian Plants Society New South Wales

Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre

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