Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wednesday wildflower: brush wattle

Brush wattle, Paraserianthes lophantha, is a common small tree that's weedy in many parts of New Zealand's North Island and some milder parts of the South Island and Stewart Island.
Brush wattle growing in a gully in Kelburn, Wellington, with Teline stenopetala (yellow flowers, foreground) and ngaio (Myoporum laetum, rounded shrubs, background).
It's a fast-growing tree and can spread rapidly by seed in waste places like gullies and roadsides.
Paraserianthes lophantha.  A, leaves (adaxial on left, abaxial on right); B, an inflorescence; C, a developing pod, with the corolla somewhat enlarged and the stamens withered; D, leaflets, adaxial on left, abaxial on right; E, gland on the leaf stalk; F, flower buds; G individual flowers.
The compound leaves have a conspicuous gland on the leaf stalk (E above).  Brush wattle flowers are clustered together to form a brush blossom (B above).  Later in the season these will be clusters of dry brown pods.

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