The Golden Wattle
"As tough as the Country that it grows in"
When in flower, the Golden Wattle is a green and gold Masterpiece
Golden Wattle - (Acacia pycnantha)
The Wattle tree explodes with very bright yellow flowers when in season. The Wattle has been exported to the northern hemisphere and is to be found in Britain, California and far as South Africa.
The Golden Wattle will withstand just about all conditions, Australia's droughts, winds and bushfires. The resilience of wattle represents the real spirit of the Australian people and it is a symbol of unity.
Not only is the golden wattle resilliant to weather, early Australian colonial settlers cultivated it using the bark when tanning hides, the tannin from the bark was known for its antiseptic properties. Indigenous Australians once created a toffiee by soaking the gum of the golden wattle in water and honey.
The Golden Wattle (Acacia Pycnantha Benth) is an evergreen, spreading shrub or smaller tree. When in season they exploding with very bright yellow flowers which are very small and massed together in pom-pom heads. Whilst most wattles are spring-flowering, there are some that bloom all year round.
The tree occurs naturally in the southern Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, western Victoria and southern inland areas of New South Wales. It also pops up in other parts of southern Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
The common name, wattle, comes from an Anglo-Saxon building method or technique. Wattles were flexible small branches that were interwoven forming the framework of buildings. This type of building was brought to Australia by early British settlers.
There are some 760 different types of wattle across Australia they can be found in every part of the country growing in the most remote areas and from low, spreading shrubs to large, upright growing trees. They are also to be found in all climates, well-watered, cold mountain regions or to the arid centre of the outback. Often they are usually the very first to appear after bush-fires.
The bright yellow, pom, pom flowers make the golden wattle a very popular garden plant. It grows well in soft front tollrant areas in a large range of soils provided it is well drained. Unfortunately is can be short-lived in cultivation. It can be easily propagated by soaked the seed in hot water to break the seed coat, then the seedlings are able to be transplanted preparation pots ready to plant in the garden. Lightly shaded or open positions are more suitable.
The occurrence of the golden wattle in the Australian Capital Territory was the main criterion for choosing the floral emblem. In 1912 the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Andrew Fisher MP, made the suggesten that the wattle should be included as a decoration surrounding the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. It was not until 19 August 1988 that the then Governor-General, the Rt Hon Sir Ninian M Stephen AK GCMG GCVO KBE, proclaimed the golden wattle as the national floral emblem.
You will find the golden wattle has been used in the past in the design of Australian stamps and still today in a number of awards in the Australian honours system. The Order of Australia dipicts a single wattle flower. It has also been and is used in recent times, as a symbol of remembrance and reflection. On Australia's National days of mourning Australians are invited to wear a piece of the wattle.
The first of September each year is Australia's Wattle Day.