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[
Acacia impressa F.Muell.
Racosperma monticola (J.M.Black) Pedley
Acacia monticola is a multi-stemmed shub or a tree with a spreading crown; it usually grows up to 5 metres tall, occasionally reaching 8 metres[
, ]. 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[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. It is often 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 - northeastern Western Australia, Northern Territory, eastern Queensland
Found mainly on ironstone or sandstone/quartzite in stony skeletal soils, often on rocky ridges or steep slopes, in red sand or sandy loam, in eucalypt woodland, open Acacia shrubland or spinifex communities; at elevations up to 700 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Acacia monticola is a plant of the arid and semi-arid tropical and subtropical zones of central and northern Australia, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 32°c, but can tolerate 12 - 42°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 250 - 450mm, but tolerates 200 - 500mm[
]. It can withstand a dry season of 7 - 9 months[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
]. Succeeds in a range of soil from sandy to clay, growing well when the fertility is very low[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5.5 - 7.5[
The plant is somewhat decorative and is suitable for use as an ornamental[
]. It can commence flowering within one year from seed[
The tree has a moderate rate of growth and a moderate life-span. In a trial in the dry tropics of West Africa, plants grew 2.4 - 3.7 metres tall after 4 years from seed, though survival rates were fairly low[
Trees respond poorly to coppicing, but can resprout from the base following a mild fire[
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[
An infusion of the phyllodes is used to treat bruised and painful areas of the body[
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 wood is very hard and strong, and appears to be highly resistant to termite attacks. It is used for gates and light fences on rural properties. It is used traditionally for making spearheads, digging sticks, boomerangs etc[
The wood is used for fuel, and has some potential for the production of small-sized firewood in dry areas[
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[
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