Trees & Shrubs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Western Coastal Wattle
This wattle is easily recognised by its old, twisted seed pods that remain on the plants for 2-3 years. Widely spreading dense, bushy shrubs to 4 m. Bark smooth and grey. Phyllodes (modified stems that look like leaves) are oval-shaped, 4-9 cm long by 0.6-1.2 cm wide with distinct veins. Yellow, globular flowers in groups of two to three. Pods are woody and seeds have a distinctive, bright red fleshy “aril” encircling them.
Threat / Problem
• Fast-growing invaders of native vegetation that can form dense thickets, outcompeting and displacing
• New plants grow from seed and A. saligna also produces suckers. Ants and birds are the main dispersal agents.
• Regenerates prolifically after fire.
• Hand pull small plants, drill and fill or cut and swab any time.
• If unsure of identification, seek professional advice before removing to ensure that local native wattles are not removed.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Acacia longifolia var. sophorae
Spreading shrub to 4 m high, sometimes taller, and can be 10-15 m wide. Phyllodes are blunt, elliptic, 6-15 cm long by 0.8-3.5 cm wide, with 2-4 prominent, parallel veins. Flowers are bright yellow, dense, fluffy spikes 2-4 cm long. Pods 5-10 cm long by 0.4-0.6 cm broad, often drooping and clustered, coiled and twisted on opening. Seed is eaten and dispersed by a wide variety of birds.
Common on coastal sand dunes and propagates easily from seed.
OR GROW ME
Erect, much-branched shrub to 3 m high. Linear leaves are 2-5 cm long by 0.3-0.6 cm wide. Flowers are small, clustered and white, with five spreading petals 0.15-0.2 cm long from August to October. Fruit are berries, 0.4-0.6 cm by 0.3-0.4 cm with black, shiny seeds.
Found more commonly inland on sandy and clay soils, rocky limestone, and edges of salt lakes.
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