Australia National Flower
Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia's national flower. The Golden Wattle blooms in spring, - beginning September - in Australia, with large fluffy, yellow, sweet smelling flower heads. Each Golden Wattle flower head is a bunch of many tiny flowers. Acacias are popularly called Wattle.
The tiny Golden Wattle flowers have five very small petals, almost hidden by the long stamens, and are arranged in dense rounded or elongated clusters. The Golden Wattle flowers are yellow in most species, whitish in some, and are widely cultivated as ornamentals.
Autralia's Acacias vary in size but have a distinctive yellow colouring. Most of the species flower during the end of winter or the beginning of spring. The most common Acacia, the Golden Wattle (Arcacias pycnantha) is found in the South Eastern parts of Australia, and the hotter and drier climates.
The Golden Wattle tree, is a shrub of about 4-8 metres. The shrubs and trees genus, Acacia comes from the Pea Family (Fabaceae) and is originally Gondwanian. About 1300 species of Acacia abound worldwide, with about 950 of them being native to Australia. The Golden Wattle features prominently on the Australian coat of arms. Australia celebrates Wattle Day on September 1.
Facts About Golden Wattle
- Since the Golden Wattle is native to Australia's Capital territory, the flower was the obvious choice for the floral emblem.
- Australian Acacia pycnantha species are called Golden Wattles, while the African and American species tend are generally called Acacias.
- Golden Wattle are sometimes used as food by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus.
- Even several years old Golden Wattle seeds germinate, provided the outer covering of the seed is sufficiently abraded for water to penetrate.
- The largest Golden wattle is the Blackwood Wattle (Arcacias melanoxylon), which is found within the eastern and southern parts of Australia.
- In Australia, Acacias are called Wattles as they were believed to have been used by the early settlers to make the wattle and daub houses.
- The most common Golden Wattle is Acacia pycnantha, which is found in the South Eastern parts of Australia, as well as the hotter and drier climates.
- Inland, the most common Golden wattle is the Mulga Wattle (Acacias aneura), which has a harder wood than many of the other species. It was also used to make tools and weaponry by the Aboriginal people.
- The strong scent of Golden Wattles, creates an illusion of an allergic reaction in some people sensitive to perfumes.
Facts About Australia
- Australia was originally a geographical part of the giant continent Gondwana, which broke apart over one hundred million years ago.
- The name Australia comes from Terra Australis- the southern land. Australia, is a country, an island and a continent and is nicknamed as the Land Down Under
- The capital is Canberra.
- The 6th largest nation in the world, Australia is the world's smallest continent and the driest inhabited continent on earth.
- Australia's national flag features a blue background with a Union Jack ( UK flag) in the upper left hand quarter; a large seven pointed star is under the Union Jack, accompanied by five small starts on the right hand side.
- Australia is located between the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. Australia boasts of a coastline of 36,735 kilometers, with land mass nearly 7.7 million square kilometers. Australian currency is the Dollar.
- The predominant language in Australia is English, with over 80 other languages spoken. As at December 2003, Australia is estimated to have a population of over 20 million.
- The Koala, one of Australia's most well known animals, is not a bear but a marsupial.
- Acacia Gardens is a suburb in the City of Blacktown, in Western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
- Australia is one of the world's most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities.