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 disagreement in the way this should be done. As of 2012, not all species have been properly renamed and we are currently unable to find information on any new name for this species[
Closely related to Acavia reficiens and Acacia elatior[
A line drawing of the leaves and pods
Photograph by: Hilina2014
Acacia etbaica is a shrub or small tree with an open, often flattened crown; it can grow from 2.5 - 12 metres tall. The plant has sharp spines up to 28mm long, carried in pairs[
The tree has minor local uses as a timber and source of tannins, plus it also has local medicinal applications.
Northeastern Africa - Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania.
Dry bushland, thickets, semi-desert scrub and wooded grasslands at elevations from sea level to 1,800 metres[
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A plant of the sesonal tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,800 metres. It grows in areas where the mean annual temperature is around 22.3°c and the mean annual rainfall 200 - 1,400mm[
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 is chewed as a stimulant and is also used in the treatment of gonorrhoea[
The leaves are used externally for the treatment of wounds and skin diseases[
The bark is a source of tannins[
The wood is used for agricultural tools, walking sticks etc[
]. It is utilized by local people to provide the pillars and beams to hold the heavy earthen roofs of houses in northern Ethiopia[
It is also a good firewood[
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. Seed germinates best at a temperature around 21°c[
]. Plants make a deep taproot and resent root disturbance, they should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
Semi-ripe cuttings of lateral shoots[
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