Wattles and Spring flowers

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Acacia pravissima             Photo: Pam Rooney
Acacia pravissima Photo: Pam Rooney

The 1st of September was Wattle Day and all over Australia brilliant patches of yellow are evident in gardens, parks and the bush.  

The humble wattles create such a wonderful splash of colour around Canberra and all over Australia in Spring. They manage to survive in Australia's harsh climates and have played a rich part in Australia's cultural history. 

From its place on the Australian Coat of Arms and as the Australian Floral Emblem to references in music, art and literature, the humble wattle lays claim to some interesting social history in Australia. For Aboriginal people the wattle had many uses, both cultural and practical. 

To learn more about the significance of wattles, see the interesting website World Wide Wattle.  For a more irreverent look, see Richard Farmer’s article The wattle, the bottle and me in the e-zine Crikey. Here you will discover the source of a wonderful poem which for some captures the essence of wattle:

The great Australian wattle
Is the symbol of our land
You can put it in a bottle
Or hold it in your hand

If you have visited the Gardens during September in the past, you may have seen guides and visitors wearing a yellow ribbon. A wattle is believed to have been the first flower to have bloomed in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was detonated in 1945. The ribbons are sent each year as a gesture of friendship from Hiroshima’s Acacia Appreciation Society.

More Spring activities with the Friends

From mid-September to mid-October the guided walks at 11.00am and 2.00pm will be Spring Flower walks.

Spring is also the time to catch up with some of our important pollinators – the birds. Take a walk with one of our volunteer guides early in the morning followed by a delicious breakfast in Floresco. See ‘Breakfast with the Birds’


Acacia consobrina          Acacia pravissima                                                Acacia leprosa 'Scarlet Blaze'                              Acacia 'Gold Lace' in the ANBG carpark  Photo: Jill More

Photographs of wattles taken in the Gardens by Pam Rooney, a member of the Photographic Group of the Friends.