Forget the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, every year at this time THE sporting spectacle to watch is the famous cycling event — Le Tour de France. The big question is always Who will wear the leader’s yellow jersey at the end of the three-week race? At the moment you can be forgiven for thinking that the Euroa Arboretum is getting in on the act. The Arb is awash with yellow, particularly from the Prickly Parrot-pea or Juniper Pea-bush (Dillwynia juniperina). Looking out from the picnic area, the pea is not hard to spot, as it is currently flowering in bright yellow profusion (pictured below).
The Prickly Parrot Pea is a member of the Fabaceae family, from the Latin word faba meaning bean (referring to the shape of the fruits of these plants). Fabaceae is the third-largest family of land-based plants after the orchids and daisies. This Parrot Pea is endemic to Australia and is distributed in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Locally it is found in the sheltered bushland around the Strathbogie Hills. It flowers between August and November and its prickly leaves create a safe refuge for birds.
Other plants in the Arboretum currently celebrating the end of the Tour de
France with yellow blooms are the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Australia’s floral emblem, pictured right, the Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia), pictured left. The photos clearly show the large difference in form the phyllodes (leaves) of wattles can take.
Like Le Tour, this time next year these blooms will reappear. It’s Nature’s cycle.