List of Australian floral emblems

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This is a list of Australian floral emblems . It encompasses the national flower and the official flowers of the constituent states.

In a number of countries, plants have been chosen as symbols to represent specific geographic areas. Some countries have a country-wide floral emblem; others in addition have symbols representing subdivisions. Different processes have been used to adopt these symbols – some are conferred by government bodies, whereas others are the result of informal public polls. The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers specifically, is primarily used in Australia and Canada. In the United States, the term state flower is more often used.

After the Federation of Australia that took place in 1901, the upsurge in nationalism led to the search for an official national floral emblem. Archibald Campbell had founded the Wattle Club in Victoria in 1899 to promote interest in and profile of the wattle as a unique Australian flower. The New South Wales waratah was considered alongside the wattle Acacia pycnantha , although lost out to the latter in 1912. The economist and botanist R. T. Baker proposed that the waratah's endemism to the Australian continent made it a better choice than the wattle, as well as the prominence of its flowers. The South Australian Evening News also supported the bid, but to no avail. [1]

Federation of Australia process by which six separate British self-governing colonies became the country of Australia

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

<i>Acacia pycnantha</i> The golden wattle, a tree of the family Fabaceae native to southeastern Australia!

Acacia pycnantha, most commonly known as the golden wattle, is a tree of the family Fabaceae native to southeastern Australia. It grows to a height of 8 m (26 ft) and has phyllodes instead of true leaves. Sickle-shaped, these are between 9 and 15 cm long, and 1–3.5 cm wide. The profuse fragrant, golden flowers appear in late winter and spring, followed by long seed pods. Plants are cross-pollinated by several species of honeyeater and thornbill, which visit nectaries on the phyllodes and brush against flowers, transferring pollen between them. An understorey plant in eucalyptus forest, it is found from southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, through Victoria and into southeastern South Australia.

Richard Thomas Baker was an Australian economic botanist, museum curator and educator.

In New South Wales, the New South Wales waratah was proclaimed as the official floral emblem of the state in 1962 by the then governor Sir Eric Woodward, after being used informally for many years. [2]

Eric Woodward Australian general

Lieutenant General Sir Eric Winslow Woodward was an Australian military officer and viceroy. Following long service in the Australian Army, including terms as Deputy Chief of the General Staff and General Officer Commanding Eastern Command, he was appointed as the Governor of New South Wales from 1957 to 1965, thus becoming the first New South Welshman to be governor of the state.

The Cooktown Orchid ( Vappodes phalaenopsis ), has been the official floral emblem of Queensland since 19 November 1959. [3]

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

In November 1960, Anigozanthos manglesii was adopted as the floral emblem of Western Australia in a proclamation made by then Premier of Western Australia David Brand, to promote tourist interest in the State's wildflowers. He had been advised by the State's Tourist Development Authority. [4]

A national emblem is an emblem or seal that is reserved for use by a nation state or multi-national state as a symbol of that nation. Many nations have a seal or emblem in addition to a national flag and a national coat of arms. Other national symbols, such as national birds, trees, flowers, etc., are listed at lists of national symbols.

David Brand Australian politician; 19th Premier of Western Australia

Sir David Brand KCMG was an Australian politician. A member of the Liberal Party, he was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1945 to 1975, and also the 19th and longest-serving Premier of Western Australia, serving four terms from the 1959 to the 1971 elections. He resigned as leader of the Liberal Party in 1973, and retired from politics in 1975, dying from heart disease in 1979.

The South Australian Government adopted Sturt's Desert Pea ( Swainsona Formosa ) as the Floral Emblem of South Australia on 23 November 1961. [5]

The Tasmanian Government proclaimed Eucalyptus globulus as their State floral emblem on 5 December 1962, [6] however it is rarely seen as an official or popular emblem. [7] This led to the Tasmanian Branch of the then SGAP promoting the attractive flower Eucryphia lucida as an alternative in 1966. [8]

The Golden Wattle ( Acacia pycnantha ) was officially proclaimed the Floral Emblem of Australia on 1 September 1988. [9]

Australia's state flowers have been featured on series of postage stamps twice—a set of six stamps in July 1968, each showing the flowers of one state, [10] and a series of seven stamps, showing the six state flowers and the golden wattle, in March 2014. [11] The Sturt's Desert Pea and Golden Wattle were also featured on a series of coil definitives in 1970.

Area representedImageCommon name Binomial nomenclature
Acacia pycnantha Golden Wattle.jpg
Golden Wattle [12] Acacia pycnantha
Australian Capital Territory
Wahlenbergia gloriosa closeup.jpg
Royal Bluebell [12] Wahlenbergia gloriosa
New South Wales
Telopea speciosissima RNP.JPG
New South Wales Waratah [12] Telopea speciosissima
Northern Territory
Sturts Desert Rose.JPG
Sturt's Desert Rose [12] Gossypium sturtianum
Cooktown orchids and bud.jpg
Cooktown Orchid [12] Vappodes phalaenopsis
South Australia
Sturts desert pea.jpg
Sturt's Desert Pea [12] Swainsona formosa
Starr 050125-3239 Eucalyptus globulus.jpg
Tasmanian Blue Gum [12] Eucalyptus globulus
Epacris impressa Pink Form.jpg
Pink (Common) Heath [12] Epacris impressa
Western Australia
Kangaroo Paw.JPG
Red and Green Kangaroo Paw [12] Anigozanthos manglesii

See also

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<i>Swainsona formosa</i> species of plant

Swainsona formosa, Sturt's Desert Pea, is an Australian plant in the genus Swainsona, named after English botanist Isaac Swainson, famous for its distinctive blood-red leaf-like flowers, each with a bulbous black centre, or "boss". It is one of Australia's best known wildflowers. It is native to the arid regions of central and north-western Australia, and its range extends into all mainland Australian states with the exception of Victoria.

<i>Telopea speciosissima</i> A large shrub in the plant family Proteaceae endemic to New South Wales in Australia

Telopea speciosissima, commonly known as the New South Wales waratah or simply waratah, is a large shrub in the plant family Proteaceae. It is endemic to New South Wales in Australia and is the floral emblem of that state. No subspecies are recognised, but the closely related Telopea aspera was only recently classified as a separate species.

<i>Acacia cultriformis</i> perennial tree or shrub of the genus Acacia native to Australia

Acacia cultriformis, known as the knife-leaf wattle, dogtooth wattle, half-moon wattle or golden-glow wattle, is a perennial tree or shrub of the genus Acacia native to Australia. It is widely cultivated, and has been found to have naturalised in Asia, Africa, North America, New Zealand and South America. A. cultriformis grows to a height of about 4 m (13 ft) and has triangle-shaped phyllodes. The yellow flowers appear from August to November in its natural range. Its attractive foliage and bright flowers make it a popular garden plant.

<i>Acacia ligulata</i> species of plant

Acacia ligulata is a species of Acacia, a dense shrub widespread in all states of mainland Australia. It is not considered rare or endangered.

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<i>Gossypium sturtianum</i> species of plant

Gossypium sturtianum, or Sturt's desert rose, is a woody shrub, closely related to cultivated cotton, found in most mainland states of Australia and the Northern Territory. It is also known as the Darling River rose, cotton rosebush and Australian cotton.

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<i>Actinotus helianthi</i> species of plant

Actinotus helianthi, known as the flannel flower, is a common species of flowering plant native to the bushland around Sydney.

<i>Acacia decurrens</i> species of plant

Acacia decurrens, commonly known as black wattle or early green wattle, is a perennial tree or shrub native to eastern New South Wales, including Sydney, the Greater Blue Mountains Area, the Hunter Region, and south west to the Australian Capital Territory. It grows to a height of 2–15 m (7–50 ft) and it flowers from July to September.

Wattle Day

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species, are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

<i>Acacia suaveolens</i> species of plant

Acacia suaveolens is a shrub species endemic to Australia. It grows to between 0.3 and 3.5 metres high and has smooth purplish-brown or light green bark and has straight or slightly curving blue-green phyllodes The pale yellow to near white globular flower heads generally appear between April and September in its native range. These are followed by flattened, bluish oblong pods which are up to 2 to 5 cm long and 8 to 19 mm wide.

<i>Acacia leprosa</i> Scarlet Blaze

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<i>Trichilogaster signiventris</i> species of insect

Trichilogaster signiventris, commonly known as the golden wattle bud-galling wasp, is a species of Australian chalcid wasps that parasitises, among others, Acacia pycnantha. It has been introduced into South Africa, where the golden wattle has become an invasive pest.

<i>Acacia cana</i> species of plant

Acacia cana, or commonly named as boree or the cabbage-tree wattle or broad-leaved nealie, is part of the family Fabaceae and sub-family Mimosoideae. It is a dense shrub- tree that can grow to 6 metres (20 ft) high and is a perennial plant meaning it has long life span and doesn’t necessary produce a high amount of seed. The cabbage-tree wattle heavily flowers from August till October and relies on animals and insects for pollination and dispersal of seeds. This least concern acacia species is found in the western plains of New South Wales and Central Queensland the habitats of these areas are found to be sandy soils and gibber plains.

<i>Acacia ramulosa</i> species of plant

Acacia ramulosa, commonly known as horse mulga or bowgada wattle, is a shrub belonging to the genus Acacia and the subgenus Juliflorae endemic to arid areas of Australia.

<i>Acacia adunca</i> species of plant

Acacia adunca, commonly known as the Wallangarra wattle and the Cascade wattle, is a species of Acacia native to eastern Australia.

Acacia burbidgeae, commonly known as Burbidge's wattle, is a shrub or tree belonging to the genus Acacia and the subgenus Phyllodineae that is endemic to parts of New South Wales and Queensland.


  1. Nixon, Paul (1997) [1989]. The Waratah (2nd ed.). East Roseville, NSW: Kangaroo Press. p. 85. ISBN   0-86417-878-6.
  2. Nixon, p. 86.
  3. "Badge, Arms, Floral and Other Emblems of Queensland Act 1959: 2 Floral emblem" (PDF) (1997-12-10 reprint ed.). Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel. p. 5. Retrieved 2006-09-11. Not an authorised copy.
  4. "The Floral Emblem of Western Australia". Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Perth, WA: Government of Western Australia. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  5. "Sturt's Desert Pea". Insignia and Emblems of South Australia. Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  6. "Tasmanian state emblems". Tasmanian Parliamentary Library. Computer Services, Parliament of Tasmania. 29 January 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  7. Boden, Anne (11 October 2006). "Tasmanian Blue Gum". Australian National Botanic Gardens website. Canberra, ACT: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  8. Gray, AM (1966). "Leatherwood: Wildflowers of Tasmania - Part 2". Australian Plants. ASGAP. 3 (26): 253–4. ISSN   0005-000 Check |issn= value (help).
  9. "Australia's Floral Emblem". Australian National Botanic Gardens.
  10. Colnect Stamp Catalogue
  11. Auspost
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Floral Emblems of Australia". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2007-10-18.