On the weekend, I treated my three eldest to an overnight camp in Nannup, about 60km southeast of Busselton. We pitched our tent near Barrabup Pool, which was once an old timber milling community.
One of the key attractions of this location is its acacia dealbata forests that transform wooded areas into shaded moss growing micro-climates. Acacias are one of the few plants that are flowering at this time and the bright yellows against their grey-green foliage are outstanding. These Wattles are a formidable defence against light entering through their canopy and therefore swamp everything apart from fungi and moss from growing.
Acacia dealbata, Silver Wattle as it’s affectionately named, is a glorious tree that can be readily grown as an ornamental in your garden. Of the more than 1300 species of acacia, dealbata is very attractive, not only in the setting shown below but also grown individually in gardens. Dealbata has a slender trunk reaching anyway from 6-8m (19-26ft) and flowers profusely through winter and early spring.
Acacia dealbata requires an annual rainfall of 200mm (7.8in) and grows well under the canopy of other trees. If you plan to grow this acacia in groves then expect that plants grown below them will struggle to survive. Acacia dealbata prefers cool moist winters which rules out most rainforest plants as undergrowth.
If you suffer from hayfever or sinus problems then most acacias (wattles) will be hard to live with in your garden. The flower’s high pollen content can irritate allergy sufferers from late winter to mid spring. If this is the case, then you are probably better off admiring acacias from a distance, or while they’re not flowering.