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 elatum (A.Cunn. ex Benth.) Pedley
Common Name: Mountain Cedar Wattle
Acacia elata is an unarmed tree usually growing 7 - 20 metres tall, occasionally reaching 25 - 28 metres. The bole is usually up to 60cm in diameter, exceptionally to 90cm, and branches are often retained to near ground level when the tree is growing in the open[
, ]. Unlike most of the Australian Acacias, this species retains its true leaves into maturity and does not develop phyllodes.
The tree is harvested as a source of tannins and wood. It is cultivated to provide shelter, shade and material for green manure in plantations, and is also grown as an ornamental[
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 - Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia.
Along the sides of rivers and in ravines[
]. Rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest in various situations on the escarpment ranges[
]. Tall open forest and rainforest, often along streams, in deep sandy soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Acacia elata is a plant of the warm temperate zone and the subtropics in eastern Australia, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It is also sometimes cultivated in tropical countries. The tree is found where mean annual temperatures are within the range 11 - 17°c, with the hottest months around 23 - 29°c and often falling to below zero in the coolest months. Rainfall can vary from 625 - 1,250mm, some of it falling as snow at higher elevations.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Plants are found in the wild in deep, sandy, acid to neutral soils, especially on sandstones and shales[
A fast-growing, relatively long-lived tree[
]. Plants have grown very rapidly in southeast Queensland, attaining heights of 5.5 - 7.4 metres after 41 months.
An ornamental tree, suitable for cultivation in parks and gardens[
]. The bipinnate leaves are the largest of any Australian acacia, reaching overall dimensions of 50 × 35cm.
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 is planted to protect the soil and provide material for green manure in Cinchona and other plantations in Sri Lanka and West Java, where it grows well and fast[
The tree is suitable for use in shelterbelt plantings[
The flowers and leaves have been used for producing dyes.
The bark contains 20 - 31% tannin[
]. Bark harvested for its tannins should only be taken from mature stems, and only when the sap is rising at the beginning of the growing season - which is when the tannin content is highest and the bark is most easily removed from the wood[
A gum is obtained from the trunk and branches - the gum is in amber coloured tears. The tree itself is of very local distribution, and as far as the author's experience goes, the gum is very rare. Out of perhaps two hundred individuals
examined, only one exuded it to the extent of 100g, perhaps half a dozen gave a few grains each, while on the remainder no trace of gum was visible[
The pale-coloured wood has been reported to be soft and lack durability, but may be suitable for packing cases. It
should prove amenable to preservative treatment and treated posts would make a suitable fencing material. The wood has excellent potential for pulpwood: the only sample evaluated produced a very high pulp yield. The wood pulp has proved to be excellent for making paper[
The denser wood from older trees should prove to be an excellent fuel.
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[