Cinnamon wattle gleams soft gold, an alchemist heralding spring to match the wind-blown daffodils and lapis lazuli grape hyacinths. Cinnamon wattle (Acacia stictophylla) is my favourite for its prettily weeping branches; it’s a tall shrub which, right now, has exploded in a fireworks display over the dainty foliage. It was named A. leprosa but our Dandenong Ranges variant now has the moniker Acacia stictophylla (Flora of Melbourne, Marilyn Bull, 2014). More importantly, why is it called Cinnamon wattle? The aromatic leaves are said to be redolent of this spice on humid days or when crushed but to me it’s a more...faint wattle-like fragrance.
Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)