Wattle Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Wattle Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Wattle tattoos or acacia tattoos are beautiful and intricate floral tattoos that can be easily tattooed on most parts of your body. In fact, they are one of the most popular choices for floral tattoos and look elegant and vibrant.

The acacia plant is a tough plant that can endure and survive in harsh conditions. It symbolizes a number of different characteristics and ideas such as immortality, perseverance, love, longevity, strength, and power.

Read on to learn more about wattle tattoos: their history, meanings, and designs. Also find out what they represent and what styles and characteristics they have. Happy reading!

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What is the History of Wattle Tattoos?

Wattle is another name for the acacia tree and wattle tattoos are floral tattoos depicting the acacia plant and leaves. The golden wattle is also the national flower of Australia and can be easily found in public places such as parks, gardens, flower displays, etc. 

The acacia plant has been used to symbolize immortality and prosperity for centuries and has been featured in numerous drawings and paintings. Wattle tattoos are some of the most popular tattoo designs around the world. People have been getting these designs and other floral drawings tattooed on their bodies since modern tattooing was introduced. 

Centuries ago, floral tattoos, including wattle ones, were extensively used by tribes and other ancient settlements to encourage unity and establish a sense of belonging and identity. While today’s wattle tattoos vastly differ from these ancient floral drawings in terms of detail, color, and method of application, the meanings and symbolic importance of these tattoos have remained mostly the same.

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As we mentioned before, wattle tattoos depict the acacia plant and its flowers. But what exactly do these tattoos symbolize? There’s no single answer to this since people have ascribed a number of meanings to acacia trees throughout history.

In ancient times, the acacia tree was known to symbolize immortality, life, longevity, and strength. This is why in ancient cultures, acacia flowers were a common sight at funerals. People ascribed spiritual and religious importance to these flowers and believed they would ensure the spirit of the deceased person would live on after their death.

In modern times, wattle tattoos mean symbolize perseverance, love, friendship, and immortality. Acacia plants are also known to be tough and fire-resistant and don’t burn easily in case of forest fires. They’re also known to survive in extreme weather conditions. Because of this, it is easy to see why they symbolize immortality. 

For people living in Australia, wattle tattoos may also symbolize their love for their country, nature, and the acacia plant.

The wattle or acacia plant also holds great religious significance and has been mentioned several times in the Bible. According to the Bible, acacia wood was used to build the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.

Moreover, the acacia plant is also an important symbol in Freemasonry.

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What Do Wattle Tattoos Mean?

Now that we’ve discussed what wattle tattoos symbolize, let’s dive a bit deeper and explore what they mean. Since these tattoos are grown in many countries across the globe, there are a number of different meanings and symbolic interpretations behind them. Simply put, wattle tattoos can mean different things to different people. 

Here, we’ll list down all the different meanings and interpretations behind wattle tattoos.

  • Are a symbol of immortality, perseverance, survival, endurance, and longevity
  • Represent pure love, friendship, life, relationships, loyalty, and strong family bonds
  • Also represent independence, steadfastness, strength, and power
  • Are a symbol of identity, belonging, or heritage

Every person that chooses to get a wattle tattoo does it for a unique reason and ascribes a unique meaning to it. These meanings and interpretations might be religious, personal, social, or spiritual. 

In some cases, individuals who choose to get a wattle tattoo might not even ascribe a certain meaning or interpretation to it. They might simply get it because they’re fascinated by the beauty of the plant and its leaves and find the idea of having a tattoo of it on their body appealing.

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Characteristics and Styles of Wattle Tattoos

At this point, you’re perhaps quite well-aware of the interpretations and symbolic meanings behind wattle tattoos. Now let’s have a look at the different characteristics and styles of these tattoos. 

Design and characteristics

Wattle tattoos are commonly drawn with darker backgrounds. The acacia plant and flowers are then drawn delicately with lighter colors. The reason for this is that since wattle tattoos represent life and immortality, the light-colored plant and flowers look like light emerging from darkness.


Wattle tattoos can be incredibly detailed or minimalistic. Detailed ones can be colorful and usually feature intricate drawings of the plant and flowers and sometimes include birds and insects perched on them. Simpler wattle tattoos are usually drawn from black ink only and are often less intricate.

If you want to check out some popular styles for wattle tattoos, head over to Pinterest. Also check out this guide as it has some beautiful designs as well.

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Where Do Wattle Tattoos Usually Go?

Up till now, we’ve talked about the symbolic meanings and interpretations of wattle tattoos, but you might be wondering what parts of your body you can get a wattle tattoo on. The answer: parts of your body that are easy to tattoo and can accommodate a tattoo easily. 

Most people get wattle tattoos on their arms, legs, chest, and backs. These parts of your body are easy to tattoo and have enough space. Since a wattle tattoo can be of any size, you can easily get it on most parts of your body. We recommend getting one on your upper arm, forearm, chest, or upper back. 

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Final thoughts

Wattle tattoos are beautiful and elegant works of art. They represent and symbolize a number of different ideas and notions, such as perseverance, immortality, love, life, longevity, and friendship. 

We hope you learned a lot about wattle tattoos in this guide and enjoyed reading it. Thank you for reading!

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