Over the years we have been here, I have photographed many plants which are waiting to be identified. I first photographed Hedge Wattle in 2013 when I spotted a spindly branch dotted with yellow flowers in front of a tree I was trying to capture. In October 2017 I found another specimen of Hedge Wattle in the form of a large shrub. This was on a different part of the property. So, while not plentiful, we do have a couple of examples of this species growing on our property. Most of the shrubs growing taller than the bracken in our bushland are Tea Trees, so it is fantastic to find some naturally occurring wattle.
The botanical name for Hedge Wattle includes the word ‘paradoxa’ indicating that it is a little different to the form of other wattles. The puff-ball flowers are there, borne singly on a stem, rather than in bunches. The leaf has one straight edge and one wavy edge, with an off-centre vein. At the base of each flower are two long sharp thorns. Hedge Wattle can grow densely, although the specimens on our place were not.
According to ‘Wattles of Ballarat’ by the Ballarat Field Naturalist Club, the Hedge Wattle plant can grow to 3 meters high and makes an ideal plant for nesting birds to use. I can see why. I don’t think I would like to tackle the thorns, which look like they would inflict some nasty scratches.