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 orites (Pedley) Pedley
Acacia orites is a tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall on good sites, though in less optimal conditions it can be no more than 8 - 10 metres[
]. It has a straight cylindrical bole up to 75cm in diameter and up to half the total tree height. Although it produces true leaves as a seedling, llike 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 tree is harvested from the wild for its good quality wood. It has been recommended for use in agroforestry systems 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 - northeastern New South Wales, southeastern Queensland
A component of tall open forest, where it favours the margins of warm temperate rainforest and secondary regrowth stands arising from a major disturbance.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Acacia orites is a tree of the warm humid zone of the warm temperate to subtropical region of eastern Australia where it can be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It also grows successfully at higher elevations in tropical regions, but does not succeed at lower elevations. The mean annual temperature is around 13 - 17°c, rising to around 25°c in the summer and falling to 2 - 6°c in the cold season. Frosts are absent near the coast, but light frosts are a common occurrence during winter at elevated inland locations. Mean annual rainfall can range from 1,000 - 2,500mm, with rainfall all year round, but mainly in the summer
Requires a sunny position. The volcanic-derived soils are acidic yellow earths with a pH 5 - 6. They are relatively infertile soils derived from rhyolite and trachyte, well-structured and freely draining, and may be shallow on steep slopes and ridge top locations. It has also been recorded from brown clays of sedimentary origin.
The mass display of fragrant flowers contributes to the ornamental appeal of this species.
The plant can grow quickly in its early years - there are reports of seedlings growing 2 metres in their first year in southeastern Australia.
Related to Acacia longissima, from which it is distinguished by its tall tree habit and thin, pliable and broader phyllodes[
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[
Its light canopy and erect habit suggest it would be suitable as a tree component in agroforestry systems and it has been described as a good fast-growing nurse tree.
The heartwood is brown and medium hard. It is easily worked and an excellent cabinet timber.
The moderately dense wood is easily split and should prove a useful 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[
Root cuttings are a successful means of propagating this species.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.