Interview with a Phantom Wattle


We have been so chuffed reading all of the entries to the 2022 POEM FOREST Nature Writing Prize for students and teachers!

Inspired by Phantom Performance, written by Sophie Y in year 9 at Inaburra School and entered as part of the Threatened Species category, we decided to have a chat to a very special friend.

Interview with a Phantom Wattle

My full name is Phantom Wattle (Acacia phasmoides)
My home is in Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park (VIC). I also have siblings in Woomargama National Park in Greater Hume Shire (NSW).
I would describe myself as not tall, but not short either. I’m a silvery-grey shrub with narrow leaves and light golden yellow flowers that grow in clusters. I’m kind of shy I guess, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a wallflower because I don’t live near any walls.
My greatest friends are in the overstory, I’d say Red Stringybark, Broadleaved Peppermint and Black Cypress-pine. I have some pretty good mates in the understory too - like Burgan, Green Grevillea and Broad-leaf Hop-bush.
Something I like about myself is how unique my blooms are. I have loads of cousins, and they are of course all really amazing at putting on a show in all different shades of yellow - but I think the pom poms of my globular flowers are something really special about me.
My favorite color is orange because it reminds me of the way sunsets get really vibrant after a good rain.
I am proud that I have survived. There are only about 2,800 of us in total in the wild.
My most secret desire is to write a poem. You wouldn't think it to look at us, but phantom wattles are pretty big fans of the written and spoken word!

About the Threatened Species Prize (F-12)

The Threatened Species Prize (F-12) will be awarded to the best poem written in response to Australia’s threatened species. See the list of threatened flora, fauna and ecological communities.

Check out the full list of POEM FOREST Entry Categories, Prizes and Judges here.

Image source: Australian National Botanic Gardens

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