Go natural: flora and fauna in the suburbs

Each week, environmental photographer and keen bush-walker Lachlan Turner will introduce his readers to plants and animals he’s uncovered in western Sydney's bushland and reserve areas. This week the Community Environment Centre volunteer talks to us about wattles.

When you visit your local bush land in summer and early autumn, even through winter, there is one particular wattle that is a pale yellow to cream-coloured variety called the Flax-leafed Wattle (Acacia linifolia).

It can be found extensively, as it prefers the more sandy soils in open forests and is often found near rocky outcrops alongside bush tracks.

This plant is generally small and slender, ranging from having a graceful habit to being somewhat straggly, as can be seen in these pictures (above).

Its height can vary from 1 to 4 metres.

At times the perfume of this wattle can be quite strong, but nowhere near the strength of the spring-flowering varieties.

We usually associate wattle with the approach of spring, as the brilliant fluffy balls of yellow start to appear almost everywhere from August onwards.

The sometimes overpowering perfume of the spring-flowering wattles is most noticeable where there are many growing in close proximity to one another.

It is also interesting to observe the variations in flower structure and colour. 

There are numerous other small, almost insignificant, wattles that can be found in flower from late summer through winter, growing in a similar habitat to this week's featured plant.

To read Mr Turner's previous columns, click on the dates below:

■ April 7, 2014: The Narrow-leafed Geebung (Persoonia linearis);

■ March 31, 2014: Old Man Banksia (Banksia serrata);

■ March 24, 2014:  The Forest Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea media). 

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