Rosa & Acacia

Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth II' & Acacia pycnantha Benth.

Rose and wattle


29.7 x 42cm

Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico extra white cotton rag 300 gsm

Private collection of HM The Queen

The Governor-General of Australia asked Heidi in early 2021 to paint Australia's gift to Her Majesty The Queen, who is also Australia's Head of State, to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.

For more details about the commission and the technical aspects of the work, click here.

Acacia pycnantha generally grows as a small tree to between 3 and 8 m in height. The bark is generally dark brown to grey—smooth in younger plants though it can be furrowed and rough in older plants. Branchlets may be bare and smooth or covered with a white bloom.

The mature trees do not have true leaves but have phyllodes—flat and widened leaf stems—that hang down from the branches. Shiny and dark green, these are between 9 and 15 cm long, 1–3.5 cm wide and falcate (sickle-shaped) to oblanceolate in shape. New growth has a bronze colouration.

Floral buds are produced year-round on the tips of new growth, but only those initiated between November and May go on to flower several months later. Flowering usually takes place from July to November (late winter to early summer) in the golden wattle's native range. The bright yellow inflorescences occur in groups of 40 to 80 on 2.5–9 cm-long racemes that arise from axillary buds. Each inflorescence is a ball-like structure that is covered by 40 to 100 small flowers that have five tiny petals and long erect stamens, which give the flower head a fluffy appearance.

The plant is a confusing mass of flower heads to paint, and gives of a sweet honey-like scent.