Classification of the genus Acacia (in the wider sense) has been subject to considerable debate. It is generally agreed that there are valid reasons for breaking it up into several distinct genera, but there has been disagreement over the way this should be done. As of 2017, it is widely (but not completely) accepted that the section that includes the majority of the Australian species (including this one) should retain the name Acacia, whilst other sections of the genus should be transferred to the genera Acaciella, Mariosousa, Senegalia and Vachellia[
Racosperma tephrinum (Pedley) Pedley
Acacia tephrina is a tree with an erect, narrow, open crown; it can grow up to 20 metres tall. The tree branches from fairly low-down the trunk[
]. Although it produces true leaves as a seedling, like most members of this section of the genus, the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[286 ].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of wood.
Especially in times of drought, many Acacia species can concentrate high levels of the toxin Hydrogen cyanide in their foliage, making them dangerous for herbivores to eat.
Australia - Queensland, Northern Territory
Grows mainly in heavier soils, including alkaline and saline clays, in tall open woodland and, in drier areas, low woodland and shrubland; at elevations up to 450 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
Acacia tephrina is a plant of the subtropical to tropical zone of northeastern Australia, where it is found at elevations up to 450 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 38°c, but can tolerate 10 - 43°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -5°c, but young growth is more tender and can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 400 - 500mm, but tolerates 250 - 550mm, and is tolerant of a long dry season[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil, but tolerant of seasonal inundation of the soil[
]. Prefers a medium to heavy soil, succeeding where the fertility is low. Tolerant of a moderate level of salt in the soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 7 - 8, tolerating 6.5 - 9[
A relatively slow-growing but long-lived tree with specimens more than 50 years old[
The plant responds well to coppicing, and also produces suckers[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark of all Acacia species contains greater or lesser quantities of tannins and are astringent. Astringents are often used medicinally - taken internally, for example. they are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, and can also be helpful in cases of internal bleeding. Applied externally, often as a wash, they are used to treat wounds and other skin problems, haemorrhoids, perspiring feet, some eye problems, as a mouth wash etc[
Many Acacia trees also yield greater or lesser quantities of a gum from the trunk and stems. This is sometimes taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and haemorrhoids[
The tree can provide light shade and shelter[
The dark red-brown wood is hard and heavy. It can be used for posts, rails, and poles[
The wood makes an excellent fuel. It burns well green or dry and with intense heat. It does make large quantities of ash, however, and it is difficult to keep fire bars clean[
The seed of most, if not all, members of this genus has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
Acacia seeds that have matured fully on the bush and have been properly dried have a hard seed coat and can be stored in closed containers without deterioration for 5 - 10 years or more in dry conditions at ambient temperatures. It is best to remove the aril, which attracts weevils and can lead to moulds forming. The arils are easilyremoved by placing the seeds in water and rubbing them between the hands, then drying the seeds and winnowing them[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.