It has been 250 years since naturalist Joseph Banks sailed to the Pacific with James Cook aboard HMB Endeavour. During the voyage, Banks and his team made the first scientific collections of Australian flora. Their specimens were sketched by Sydney Parkinson, whose pioneering illustrations were published last year.
Wattles belong to the plant genus Acacia, which contains about 1350 species worldwide, including 1000 in Australia. Ranging from trees to minuscule shrubs, acacias dominate many of our landscapes. On the first day of spring is National Wattle Day, marking the moment in history when the Golden Wattle was made Australia’s official floral emblem.
Text by James O’Hanlon.