Withstanding drought, wind, and bushfires for 35 million years, the golden wattle has flourished on the Australian continent. In other words, the ideal representation of the renegade Australian spirit. Here are the 10 most interesting facts about Australian national flower that you may not be aware of.
The Golden Wattle Has Been Utilized By Aboriginal Australians For Millennia
Before British colonization, Australia’s first peoples, who had lived on the continent for more than 65,000 years, used acacias for a variety of uses. Wattle trees’ wood, pollen, and sap were used to make food, medicine, weapons, tools, musical instruments, glues, dyes, and ceremonial decorations, in addition to other products. The golden blossoms, which bloomed in the spring, also denoted seasonal occurrences like whales coming to the coast or eels appearing in rivers.
The History Of Australia’s Military Is Intertwined With The Golden Wattle
Australia only became a federated country in 1901, so its World War I efforts—in which the golden wattle played a largely symbolic role—were essential to the development of national identity. It became customary to send pressed wattles in letters to injured soldiers in Europe, and deceased diggers were sometimes laid to rest with a sprig of wattle. Wattle flowers were also sold to generate money during the war.
It Didn’t Really Interest British Colonists
It took botanist George Bentham until 1842 to describe the wattle in the London Journal of Botany because the first European colonists who came to Australia in the late 18th century weren’t happy that none of the native plants looked like the food they were used to back home. The “acacia pycnantha” can be found across Australia; the original specimen was discovered in north Victoria. Golden wattles, which have long, elongated green leaves and beautiful, spherical yellow flowers, bloom on trees that are three to eight meters tall.
It’s Wrong On The Coat Of Arms
Since 1912, a sprig of wattle has graced the Commonwealth of Australia’s national emblem, yet that representation is inaccurate from a biological standpoint. The kangaroo, emu, and shield, which stand in for the six states of the nation, are framed by wattle. However, technically the spherical blooms and green leaves don’t accurately represent the acacia pycnantha. Keep it a secret from the petty botanists!
Australia’s National Colors Were Inspired By It
Australian sporting teams have worn green and gold on their uniforms since the late 1800s, despite the fact that the flag is red, white, and blue. Since 1984, when the colors were formally adopted as Australia’s flag, no national sports team has been seen playing in anything other than green and gold.
The Queen’s Coronation Robe Had A Golden Wattle
Queen Elizabeth II put a golden wattle on her formal coronation gown when she ascended to the queen on June 2, 1953. Therefore it’s not just elite Australian athletes who enjoy a little touch of green and gold. The Australian wattle flower was shown with other floral symbols that represented various parts of the British Empire. For example, fern from New Zealand, the protea from South Africa, the maple leaf from Canada, and the lotus flower from India.
Used On Australia’s Medals And Awards
The golden wattle served as inspiration for the designs of many Australian Defense Force awards, including the Order of Australia medal, the highest honor a civilian may get in Australia, the National Emergency Medal, and numerous more. The national flower also frequently appears in the works of well-known Australian artists Albert Namatjira, Sidney Nolan, and John Olsen. It was in works like the 1915 poem We’re All Australians Now by Banjo Paterson and the song Cootamundra Wattle by John Williamson.
Monty Python Joked About The Golden Wattle
When a sprig of the wattle showed up on the set of Monty Python’s Flying Circus in the irreverent Bruces comedy. It featured a group of Bruces from the University of Woolloomoolloo’s philosophy department parodying an offensive Australian stereotype, the wattle gained international notoriety. Their tagline? “This is the wattle, our country’s flag. You can hold it in your palm or put it in a bottle. Amen!”
In Various Places Of The World, The Golden Wattle Is A Weed
Australians may have a strong attachment to their national flower, but not everyone on earth feels the same way. Where it outcompetes native flora, the acacia pycnantha is regarded as a weed in South Africa, Tanzania, Italy, Portugal, Sardinia, India, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
A Strong Candidate To Be Our Next National Flag
There is a vigorous drive to replace the current antiquated flag with a more representative national emblem. At the same time, the question of whether Australia should sever its links with the British Commonwealth. It becomes an independent republic is being discussed in the background. There is strong support for replacing the current flag. It features the Union Jack in one corner, with something distinctly Australian, like the chic Golden Wattle Flag.