Wattles are easily recognized by their fluffy yellow flowers, and the Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha the is the national floral emblem of Australia.

There are almost 1000 Australian species of wattle - or Acacia - and they are widespread and numerous. At any one time of the year, somewhere in Australia, there will be a species of wattle in flower. They occur in most habitats in Australia and are also found in the sub-humid and arid regions of Africa, India, and America.

Wattle wood has been used for building, furniture, tanning, tools, and weapons, and its seeds for medicine and food. Wattles stabilise and improve the condition of soils by adding nitrogen (converted from the air by a fungus living in their roots)

This here's the wattle
The emblem of our land
You can stick it in a bottle
Or you can hold it in your hand

(Monty Python)

Wat"tle (?), n. [AS. watel, watul, watol, hurdle, covering, wattle; cf. OE. watel a bag. Cf. Wallet.]

1.

A twig or flexible rod; hence, a hurdle made of such rods.

And there he built with wattles from the marsh A little lonely church in days of yore. Tennyson.

2.

A rod laid on a roof to support the thatch.

3. Zool. (a)

A naked fleshy, and usually wrinkled and highly colored, process of the skin hanging from the chin or throat of a bird or reptile.

(b)

Barbel of a fish.

4. (a)

The astringent bark of several Australian trees of the genus Acacia, used in tanning; -- called also wattle bark.

(b) Bot.

The trees from which the bark is obtained. See Savanna wattle, under Savanna.

Wattle turkey. Zool. Same as Brush turkey.

 

© Webster 1913.


Wat"tle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wattled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Wattling (?).]

1.

To bind with twigs.

2.

To twist or interweave, one with another, as twigs; to form a network with; to plat; as, to wattle branches.

3.

To form, by interweaving or platting twigs.

The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes. Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.


Wat"tle (?), n.

1.

Material consisting of wattled twigs, withes, etc., used for walls, fences, and the like. "The pailsade of wattle." Frances Macnab.

2. (Bot.)

In Australasia, any tree of the genus Acacia; -- so called from the wattles, or hurdles, which the early settlers made of the long, pliable branches or of the split stems of the slender species.

 

© Webster 1913

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