January and February can be pretty dull in the bush; nothing much is flowering and the heat and dust make the trees and shrubs look grey and desperate.
Coming round a corner and seeing Lightwood Wattle in its full glory,beautifully perfumed, ignoring the temperature and the lack of rain is a blessed relief.
Lightwood (Acacia implexa) is a now uncommon species found on creeklines and roadsides especially on the Dalyenong/Stuart Mill Rd and around Mt Moliagul.
It provides nectar and pollen for many insects and small mammals when there is little else about.
A ready germinator and unfussy grower, it should be included in large gardens and revegetation plantings.
Two other wattles join Lightwood in a Summer flowering- Spreading Wattle (A genistifolia) and Deane’s Wattle (A. deanei ssp paucijuga).
The former is widespread but Deane’s Wattle occurs only on granitic sands- Kooyoora area and Emu.