Tomorrow ... September 1st ... is the first day of Spring downunder ... and on this day every year we celebrate National Wattle Day!!
Wattles ... Acacias of course being their botanic name ... have a very special place in the heart of all Aussies.
Let misers hoard and hide their gold;
Here there is treasure-trove untold,
In yellow blossom, mass on mass
Spread out for wayfarers who pass
With hearts to feel, and eyes to see
How lovely is the wattle tree.
One of our native wattles (seen on the left) - Acacia pycnantha or the Golden Wattle - is our national floral emblem ... and, of course, our national colours ... green and gold ... were inspired by the Acacia.
Towards illimitable skies
From the earth the trees arise:
Givers of Joy, their gold and green
Against the blue of Heaven is seen.
A symbol of man's destiny
Is the blossoming the wattle tree.
(Selected verses from Dora Wilcox's 'The Wattle Tree')
Acacias welcome in the Spring in many parts of Australia ... although there are many species that bloom at other times of the year. There's over 1000 different types of Acacias ... Australia has around two-thirds of the entire world's species. There are some that are metre-high shrubs ... and then others that are trees reaching to 15 metres tall!!
I am in no way an expert in Acacias, despite being an Aussie, as so many just look identical to me and I find it hard to tell them apart. But putting my lack of expert knowledge aside, I shall attempt to share some of the Acacias that surround me here ... there are a couple of varieties out in the bushland around my home and a number of these have sprung up on my property. I thought I'd join in Noel's Hot, Loud and Proud meme and show some of these magnificent Acacias with you ... the names are just educated guesses! (Please correct me if you think I'm wrong ... my shoulders are broad!)
An interesting fact about the flowers of Acacias is that there are two types - rod-shaped and ball-shaped. There are examples of both of these flowers on the Acacias that grow here.
Here's the first Acacia that's a common sight out in the bushland.
It has ball-shaped flowers.
It has seed pods that look like this ... pods alternately raised and depressed over the seeds inside.
There is also this beautiful Acacia that has bright, golden yellow rod-shaped flowers.
The common name Ear Pod Wattle can be attributed to the look and shape of the seed pods.
Then finally, there is this wonderful Acacia with its grey-green foliage and creamy lemon flower spikes.
This Acacia has the most remarkable heavily curled and twisted seed pods.
As I mentioned earlier, not all Acacias bloom in Spring ... and mine don't!!! There are no gorgeous wattle flowers out in the bush or on my property right now ... all these varieties bloomed back in Autumn. There are seed pods on both the Ear Pod and Silver Leaf Wattles ... but that is it. So to end this National Wattle Day post, here's a few more photos taken earlier this year. Enjoy the green and gold on this first day of Spring.