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Plants: Species

Acacia: Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha

FAMILY: FABACEAE (Bean Family)

Acacias are known in Australia as wattles because they were thought to have been used by early settlers to make the "wattle and daub" houses constructed of sticks and clay. It turns out that another type of tree was actually used, but the name stuck anyway.

Wattles have important status in the land Down Under and one species, the golden wattle Acacia pycnantha, is Australia's national emblem. It is prominent in the Australian coat of arms, and its green foliage and gold flowers inspired the colors of the Australian flag. Aussies even celebrate Wattle Day on September 1. If you're game, your taste buds might be tickled by local tucker like wattle damper, a bread made with ground wattle seeds, or wattle ice cream, which reportedly has a coffee-chocolate-hazelnut flavor that also comes from the seeds.