Local acacia species have flowered profusely this season but will these blossoms translate into a decent crop of viable seed. Seed production was patchy in quality and low in quantity last season.

Earlier flowering patterns and the threat of late frosts can combined to reduce the availability of healthy seed from wild wattle populations. This happened last season. Many species aborted their seed after the frosts. Perhaps pollinators were absent at  critical times.  Acacia pycnantha, acacia paradoxa, acacia montana and acacia verniciflua did very poorly and these are core revegetation species and basis food sources for seed eating insects and birds.

Acacia implexa and acacia mearnsii didn’t produce any seed at all. These species always a step behind because they develop seed pods that mature this season on the previous years flowers. It is said that the black wattle (A. mearnsii) only  produces seed when the following year is going to be very dry. Indigenous people knew when and where  to burn to prevent bad bushfires in the future  by observing  when  the Gang Gang Cockatoos arrived to eat these  green seed pods. There are no obvious seed pods developing on the black wattles around here  this season ( maybe still too early to call )so next summer season should be fairly average. Let me know if you find seed pods developing on the black wattles near you and we’ll test this theory out.

Janet Hagen

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