The Boys' Brigade Australia

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Australian National Flower

Golden Wattle - (Acacia pycnantha)

The golden wattle, like the many other varieties of wattle, blooms prolifically in late winter to early spring. Its clusters of golden flowers are most attractive to bees as well as a visual delight.

The wattles are shrubby trees, sometimes straggly in appearance, which grow to 6 or 7 metres in height. This variety has curved broad leaves and yields seeds in pods which look like a thin form of bean. Shiny surfaces on the leaves help reduce the drying effect of extremely strong sunlight.

Acacia pycnantha enjoyed popular acceptance as Australia's national flower for much of this century but it was not proclaimed as the national floral emblem until 1988, the year of Australia's bicentenary. The Gazettal is dated 1 September 1988, signed by the Governor General, Sir Ninian Stephen, on 19 August 1988.

A ceremony was held on 1 September 1988 at the Australian National Botanic Gardens when the Minister for Home Affairs, Robert Ray, made the formal announcement, and the Prime Minister's wife, Mrs Hazel Hawke, planted a Golden Wattle.

Four years later, in 1992, the 1 September was formally declared 'National Wattle Day' by the Minister for the Environment, Mrs Ros Kelly at another ceremony at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Gazettal is dated 24 August 1992 and was signed by the Governor General, Bill Haydon, on 23 June 1992.

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Peter Shave (25 Jul 2006)

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