Herb: Golden Wattle


Latin name: Acacia pycnantha


Family: Leguminosae



Edible parts of Golden Wattle:

Flowers - cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. The plant yields an oily gum which is said to be edible. Some species produce a gum that is dark and is liable to be astringent and distasteful, but others produce a light gum and this is sweet and pleasant. It can be sucked like candy or soaked in water to make a jelly. The gum can be warmed when it becomes soft and chewable.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Tree

Height:
8 m
(26 feet)

Flovering:
March
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets, or as an under-storey in Eucalyptus forests, especially on very poor soils.

Other uses of Golden Wattle:

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion. It is often planted for this purpose on sandy banks. The bark is rich in tannin. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 40.8% tannin.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25C. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage.

Cultivation of Golden Wattle:

Thickets, or as an under-storey in Eucalyptus forests, especially on very poor soils.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Acacia pycnantha:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.