Featured Flower: Acacia

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Acacia

This issue’s floral selection is a controversial one. Since we are featuring aromatherapy in this issue, I decided to choose one of my favorite-smelling early spring blossoms, acacia. While many people are allergic to acacia pollen, I just adore the smell! It reminds me of my happiest childhood memories of this time of year, walking up the lane in my rubber boots and favorite umbrella, and splashing in puddles. To me, the scent is so delicious that it is almost edible; sweet and candy-like. I imagine it would taste like mild licorice, or Jordan almonds, or perhaps a vanilla caramel, or something else delectably sweet.

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When the smell of acacia fills the air, there is, for me, a sense of hope and renewal. It triggers my mind to say, “Ah ha! Spring is coming after all. The rains will end, and the sun will come out, and shine on a freshly cleaned world.” It’s like a breath of sweet sunshine.

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Traditionally, this tree is found all over the world and especially in Australia. It has had diverse mythological roots (playing an important role in both Egyptian and Judeo-Christian lore) and has been used as a source of medicine and incense. According to flowerinfo.org, acacia blossoms are associated with honor, resurrection and immortality, and chaste or friendly affection.

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Acacia blossoms are small, yellow puff balls (somewhat like miniature pom-poms), draped luxuriantly at the ends of tendrils and surrounded by delicate fern-like leaves. The trees are beautiful year-round, but really become visible, brightening the landscape with intense splashes of yellow, in February and March.

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(For those of you who are allergic to their pollen, I have included a picture of some daffodils and other bulb flowers.)

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