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Useful Tropical Plants

Acacia inaequilatera

Domin.

Fabaceae


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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Acacia inaequilatera is a somewhat gnarled tree, frequently with a single, more or less crooked trunk and craggy branches; it usually grows 2 - 4 metres tall, sometimes reaching 8 metres. The bark is thick and corky[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
,
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
]. 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
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. A curiously attractive species, especially when in flower[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

Known Hazards

The seed of many Acacia species, including this one, is edible and highly nutritious, and can be eaten safely as a fairly major part of the diet. Not all species are edible, however, and some can contain moderate levels of toxins[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
]. Especially when harvesting from the wild, especial care should be taken to ensure correct identification of any plants harvested for food[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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.

Botanical References

286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.

Range

Australia - northern Western Australia, Northern Territory

Habitat

Tall, open shrubland with spinifex ground cover, growing on stony plains and hills, in sand or sandy loam, basaltic and alkaline soils[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
,
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Acacia inaequilatera is native to the arid and subarid regions of northwestern Australia.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
The seeds of most acacia species can be quickly and efficiently harvested at full maturity without the need for any specialised equipment. Small seed-bearing branches can be cut and beaten on sheets, or bushes can be beaten or shaken directly onto large sheets[
1294
Title
Potential of Australian Acacias in combating hunger in semi-arid lands
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3):161-169 (2002)
Author
Rinaudo A.; Patel P.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
A very fire tolerant species, the thick bark giving it some protection. It rapidly regenerates from seed and also resprouts from the base and/or develops epicormic growth[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].
Acacia inaequilatera is a comparatively short-lived species, lasting less than 10 years[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
]. The seeds were consumed by the indigenous people of the Pilbara either as raw bush tucker or after roasting on a spinifex fire, or were ground into a flour and used for a damper[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
]. The seed can be eaten in the same ways as other small legume seeds and can also be ground into a powder then used as a flavouring in desserts or as a nutritious supplement to pastries and breads[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
]. The seedpods are up to 11cm long and 7 - 10mm wide, with dull brown, oblong to more or less orbicular seeds 4.5 - 6mm long[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
Acacia seeds are highly nutritious and contain around 26% protein, 26% available carbohydrate, 32% fibre and 9% fat. The fat content is higher than most legumes with the aril providing the bulk of fatty acids present. These fatty acids are largely unsaturated. The energy content is high in all species tested, averaging 1480 ±270 kJ per 100g. The seeds are low glycaemic index foods - the starch is digested and absorbed very slowly, producing a small, but sustained rise in blood glucose and so delaying the onset of exhaustion in prolonged exercise[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
].

The ground seed can be used to produce a high quality, caffeine-free coffee-like beverage[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
].

An edible gum exudes from the trunk and branches[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

Medicinal

The soft inner bark (birra) can be boiled in water and the liquid used to treat sores, scabies and other skin complaints[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

The bark can be burnt and the ash rubbed over the skin of babies to keep them cool, or to make the skin 'soft and beautiful'[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
]. The ash can also be used to treat persistent sores[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

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[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The ash from the burnt bark can be rubbed over the skin to hide yourself from biting insects. The Aborigine would say that the insects can not find you to bite because the ash has made you too black[
1298
Title
Wattles of the Pilbara
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/descriptions/pilbara/html/default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with factsheets for the various Acacia species that grow in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and benefits from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve 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.
Seeds can store for 14 years at room temperature with only 11% loss of viability[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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