Australia’s national flower

24 November 2017
Grower News

This variety has a cheery saffron hue and it’s known by the scientific name, Acacia pycnantha Benth.

The Wattle Flower can be found on many Aussie stamps and it’s also displayed on the emblem of the Order of Australia.

Basic Wattle Flower Facts

The flower grows on an evergreen spreading shrub, which is part of the Fabaceae family. The flowering Wattle Flower shrub may grow as high as twenty-five feet and features leaf stalks with flattened shapes.

These stalks are known as phyllodes. Each phyllode has a sickle shape and most are between 3.5 and 9 inches long, with widths ranging between 1 centimeter and 3.5 centimeters.

Wattle Flowers have a pleasing scent and their golden color makes them beautiful to behold. They can be found  blooming during the end of winter and the end of spring. These flowers undergo cross-pollination via two species of birds, Thornbills and Honeyeaters.

The flowering tree, which produces Wattle flowers, is classified as an understorey type of plant and it is found in eucalyptus forests.

Parts of New South Wales have these forests (the South of the country is one fine place to see Wattle Flowers) and they are also found in Australia’s Capital Territory, from Victoria into the southeast of South Australia.

Fun and Factual Historical Information

An explorer named Thomas Mitchell discovered this flower variety and collected the first known specimen, which then received its species description from George Bentham in 1842.

There are no recognised sub-species of this flower.

The Wattle Flower tree has commercial value as its bark contains a lot of tannin. Those who cultivate these trees often do so in order to harvest this tannin.

It’s also a very decorative tree and many people grow these trees on their properties simply to enjoy their attractive appearance.

The Wattle Flower is considered a weed in some nations where it grows – examples of nations where the blossom has ‘weed’ status include Italy, India and Portugal. Even Western Australians consider this golden bloom to be a weed.

This flower became the official floral emblem of the Land Down Under in 1988. Now, it is showcased on the nation’s postal stamps. Since the petals and stalks of this flower are gold and green, respectively, the plant echoes Australia’s national colors.

In terms of symbolism, this flower is meant to denote unity.

Wattle flowers are tough and resilient and Australians are known to have these traits, too. During times of crisis or mourning, Aussies may wear floral springs of Wattle flowers in order to show unity and national pride.

Each year, there is a National Wattle Day on the first day of September.

Wattle Day started long before the flower was officially recognised by the Australian government; it’s actually been happening since 1913. Plenty of Aussies also plant flowering Wattle shrubs at home, as a symbol of their national pride.

Source: Cut Flower Industry Australia