Australia’s national flower, the Golden Wattle, or Acacia Pycnantha, transforms gardens nationwide into a sea of yellow in the months of August and September. Wattles are well known for their big fluffy, bright yellow, sweet-smelling heads that are nearly buried by long stamens that are clustered densely in a round or elongated shape. The Golden Wattle is the most well-known of the 960 native wattle species in Australia.
Why Is The Golden Wattle Australia’s National Flower?
The Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, is a native of Canberra in Australia’s capital city, making it a logical choice for the country’s floral emblem. It is also found growing in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
In addition, the history of the Australian 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.
What Is Acacia Pycnantha Used For?
Wattles are now more frequently utilized in gardens in Australia, but they were also employed by the early settlers to construct wattle and daub buildings and have served Aboriginal and colonial Australians in a variety of unique ways. Different Aboriginal communities employed more than 100 wattle species for food, medicine, tools, and weapons. Their seeds were harvested and crushed into flour that could be consumed as a paste or cooked as a damper over hot ash. Some of the most fragrant flowers are produced by the golden wattle and are used to make potpourri, bath herbs, and perfumes. Some acacias have been utilized for their therapeutic benefits in the treatment of headaches, skin conditions, aches and pains, infections, rheumatism, colds, and toothaches. Definitely a group with many uses!
Where To See The Golden Wattle In Sydney?
Australia’s largest botanical garden, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan in western Sydney, focuses on cultivating and exhibiting native Australian plants. There are more than 260 kinds of Acacia (wattles) in the garden, which covers 36,000 m2. Throughout the garden, wattles can be found in great numbers. Peak flowering occurs in August and September, but some wattle species bloom all year long. In this garden, there is a place called the Wattle Garden.
When Is The National Wattle Day?
National Wattle Day, which falls on September 1st, is a perfect opportunity to observe these magnificent plants in bloom at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Stop by the visitor center to pick up some helpful advice and to buy your own wattle foods, like our Macadamia and Wattle Seed Muffin Mix.