Golden Wattle Jon Sullivan/Flickr

Golden Wattle

The species name pycnantha from the Greek (pyknos) meaning dense, and (anthos) meaning a flower, refers to the dense clusters of flowers.

Small shrub or tree. Usually 3 - 8 m high.


Has phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks) that are pinnate (arranged opposite each other on either side of the stem) and sickle-shaped 9 - 15 cm long and 1 - 3.5 cm wide; branchlets on leaves are hairy, sometimes covered in white powdery granules.


Bright golden and sometimes lemon-yellow ball-shaped inflorescences (clusters flowers arranged on a stem). Flowers appear in late winter and spring and into early summer (July to November).


Long seed pods are more or less oblong, 5.5-6cm long, seeds somewhat shiny, black and club-shaped.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower (each ‘flower ball’ is actually a cluster of 40-80 flowers)

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

  • Open Seed pods (record all days)

Climate Adaptations

The Golden Wattle is expected to alter its shooting and flowering periods as a result of climate change impacting temperature and rainfall. They may also start appearing in new areas, as climate change enables them to live in environments that were previously unsuitable for them.

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • From autumn throughout spring and early summer
  • Flowers appear from July to November
  • Seed pods appear after flowers

Where To Look

  • South Australia, Victoria, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory
  • In the understorey of open forest or woodland and in open scrub formations
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

It was made the official floral emblem of Australia in 1988.

A flower in an inflorescence are referred to as ‘florets’.