London's Harley Street has the most enormous wattle (mimosa) tree and it is currently in flower in a blaze of yellow. I took these photos today, a lovely London spring day of 20°C — very warm for London in March.
For those of you unfamiliar with the name wattle its real name is Acacia, and commonly known as acacia, thorntree, whistling thorn or wattle. We Kiwis and Aussies call it a wattle tree!
Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not. All species are pod-bearing, with sap and leaves often bearing large amounts of tannins and condensed tannins that historically found use as pharmaceuticals and preservatives.
I remember that back home in NZ my parents said it was bad luck to bring branches of wattle indoors (probably some old wives' tale) so we could only admire our wattle tree outside. Frances Kelly, the NZ garden book writer, in her book The Faithful Garden wrote that many Aussies won't bring wattle indoors because the superstition is "heightened by the incidence of hay fever when wattles are in bloom". I guess we Kiwis picked up the same superstition. I remember being surprised when I first came to London and it was being sold in florist shops and for the most ridiculously expensive prices. I must admit I've never been tempted to buy it; old habits die hard!