The wattle and wattleseed
The golden wattle, Acacia pycnantha, grows throughout Australia, flowering in late winter and spring, producing a mass of fragrant, fluffy, golden flowers.
Australian Aboriginals have used the wattle and other plants in three ways: food, medicine, materials (tools, weapons, boomerangs, fibre fishing nets, building materials).
Seeds: Wattleseed can be used from some 20+ species of wattle. Some can be collected and ground into flour. Mixed with water, it can be eaten as a paste or cooked over hot ash on a griddle or other piece of metal. Some seeds can be roasted in the pod, and some pods can be eaten whole.
Plant gums: Many wattles produce a kind of gum naturally or as an immune-type response to physical damage.. The gum of several wattle species is edible. For some Australian Aboriginal groups this has been used as a child’s snack food. Dissolved in water, the gum makes a drink and can be sweetened with nectar.
Roots: Young wattle roots are better than older roots for food and are generally roasted over a fire. Occasionally, grubs found with the roots and other parts of the plant – especially some pods – are consumed as well
The Australian Coat of Arms includes a representation of a wreath of wattle, and the green and gold colours used by Australian international sporting teams were inspired by the colours of the wattle.