"the dim wall of wattles, like ghosts in the midst"
African Wattle, Peltophorum africanum, Pretoria
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAfrican Wattle, Peltophorum africanum, Pretoria - Credit: JMK

Wattle is a common name for shrubs and trees in the genus AcaciaAcacia previously contained roughly 1300 species, about 960 of them native to Australia, and the remainder to tropical and temperate regions of Europe, Africa, southern Asia and the Americas.  In 2005 the genus was sub-divided into five.  Acacia was retained for the majority of the Australian species, while most of the species outside Australia were reclassified. 

The African wattle is a semi-deciduous tree that can grow up to 15m tall and produces bright yellow flowers in spring and summer.  The bark is used medicinally by various African tribes to relieve colic and to treat stomach disorders and sore eyes.

Australian black wattle is grown commercially in South Africa for its timber and its tannins.  Its aggressive propagation has seen it become a major environmental threat to indigenous grasslands.