Davidson park (again) and some wattle

August 20, 2021 | 17 Comments

A short article today to share a quick sketch I did early Saturday morning after my walk along the water’s edge at Davidson Park. This is looking back from the water’s edge.

I’ve also been continuing to draw plants/ trees which I encounter during my walks. These are exploratory drawings that I use to help with identification – they are not supposed to be realistic sketches or botanical studies. I love the process of looking up my books (I now have 6 books that I refer to frequently) to try and identify the species. Recently finding the glands on the leaves has been an important identifier.

I’m really noticing so many different wattles out in bloom at the moment but working out what they all are is a challenge. Wattle is genus Acacia and belongs to the family Mimosaceae. There are over 1000 species in Australia!

And, oh! I got out some old coloured pencils (remnants of a Derwent set from my university days) for something different.


  • David Campbell says:

    I’ve been liking the relaxed approach in these casual botanicals!

  • Prashanta says:

    You make it look so nice Liz! Acacia is an invasive species in India and we were always taught to look down upon it 😀 But I love your sketches of them.

  • Celeste U says:

    Love the botanical explorations–have been doing some of those myself. It’s a challenge to capture the identifying characteristics & really trains the eye to *see*

  • Sandie Ingram says:

    Have really been enjoying your plant ID sketches! Seems I am always trying to identify some plant here in Florida, too. Was very interested in your mention of using glands to identify them. I must find out more about this. Also, Liz, I never knew “wattle” was Acacia. We do have some acacias here, but probably were brought here from Australia. I don’t think any are native, but not sure about that! Lots of Mimosaceae are native to this area. You’ve taught me more than sketching skills!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Sandie – there are a lot of acacias that are not native to australia as well. So much to learn always!!!!

  • Janet Gawthrop says:

    Definitely Acacias have been exported all over the world. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Acacia buxifolia in California, but that doesn’t mean someone hasn’t planted it somewhere. That said, I agree with the comment from India that several Acacia species have turned into serious pests outside of their home. In California, drought and a native fungus, genus Diaporthe I think, have been attacking and killing whole groves of Acacia baileyana and A. melanoxylon in Joaquin Miller Park.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks for sharing! Sad when beautiful trees become pests or are attacked by pests! I love A. baileyana but dont know A. melanoxylon much.

  • Talweez says:

    Lovely wattle sketches! They really are such pretty plants (except where they’ve become invasive haha). I found out the hard way that there are over 1000 Acacia species in Australia last year when trying to identify a species I’d sketched near Lake Coogee in Perth. I’ve also recently learned there are over 900 species of Eucalypts in Australia!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Talweez – Ha! So I’m not the only one to be shocked by the variety of Acacias?! And yes so many eucalypts too… I’m identifying them too! 🙂

      • Talweez says:

        Haha definitely not! I didn’t realise it’d be that much of a job trying to identify the species but it did get me excited about looking up the species of most things I sketched/painted afterwards which has been a wonderful way to learn so much more about them.

  • Brenda Yarborough says:

    Absolutely lovely sketches!! I use a phone app for plant identification. It’s so fast, easy, and informative! The one I use is called Picture This, but I believe there are others. I highly recommend! Using the app in the field would also give you hints as to what else to look for around the plant’s habitats.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Brenda. The Picture THis app is amazing but doesn’t have any of the Australian native plants that I’m exploring!
      As I’m going back to the same areas, I can revisit the same trees. I love sketching the leaves and fruit and then looking up my book to try and work it out. The slow journey of discovery is fun!:-)

  • Jamie C says:

    Such a great way to both explore, document, and research your local plants! Also beautiful pages!

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