ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Gold-dust_wattle_flowers_flickr__c__2011_phloemalone Gold-Dust Wattle flowers_Flickr (c) 2011 phloemalone
  2. Gold-dust_wattle_leaves_and_seed_pods_flickr__c__2014_russell_cumming Gold-Dust Wattle_leaves and seed pods_Flickr (c) 2014 Russell Cumming
  3. Gold-dust_wattle_pod_flickr__c__2013_friends_of_chiltern_mt_pilot_national_park Gold-Dust Wattle_pod_Flickr (c) 2013 Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park

Gold-Dust Wattle

Acacia acinacea

Appearance

  • Bushy or straggly shrub, branchlets more or less angled at extremities, smooth or hairy. Bark is smooth, grey to brown.
  • Size: commonly to 2.5m high
  • Leaves: has phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks) that are rounded, usually asymmetric 0.4–1.5cm long and 2–8mm wide, hairy or smooth. Leaf midrib (large midline vein) is obscure or absent, lateral veins also absent.
  • Flowers: bright yellow ball-shaped inflorescences (clusters flowers arranged on a stem) that form in patterns of 5 (5-emerous). Flowers appear in late winter and spring and into early summer (July to November). 
  • Fruits/seeds: Pods twisted or spirally coiled, slightly raised over seeds. Seeds longitudinal, more or less oblong and shiny dark brown.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower (each ‘flower ball’ is actually a cluster of 40-80 flowers!)
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • No flowering
  • Open Seed pods (record all days)

 

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

  • From autumn throughout spring and early summer
  • Flowering usually August–October.
  • Seed pods appear after flowers

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout from late February!

Where To Look

In the understorey of open forest or woodland and in open scrub formations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Sightings

The map below displays the accumulated observations of these species as reported by ClimateWatch observers, together with the layer showing how the range of the species might change between now and 2085, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, and green areas where the species range might expand.

References

  • Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria 2015 (rbg.vic.gov.au) for species information and images
  • Experts consulted: Dr Marie Keatley (Parks Victoria)

Links

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  1. Did You Know?

    • They are tolerant of drought and frost. 
    • A flower in an inflorescence, like wattle flowers, are referred to as ‘florets’