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 spodiosperma F.Muell.
Acacia leucosperma F.Muell. ex E.Pritz
Common Name: Limestone Wattle
Acacia sclerosperma is a dense, commonly rounded shrub or tree mostly growing up to 4 metres tall and around 4 metres wide[
]. 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 as a source of tannins. It can be grown as a shelterbelt in coastal areas.
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 - western Western Australia
Sand, sandy loam and stony, sometimes calcareous soils, in open scrub, associated with chenopods or hummock grassland[
]. Scrub, shrubland and riparian woodland, on coastal dunes, along creeks and flood plains in sand, limestone, loam and clay[
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Acacia sclerosperma is native to the arid and semi-arid region of western Australia.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Somewhat tolerant of saline soils[
At least when grown in gardens, this species coppices vigorously when cut at about 0.5 metres above ground level[
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[
A somewhat salt tolerant species that is useful as a windbreak in coastal areas[
The bark is rich in tannins. It can be used as a dye[
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. The seeds germinate readily[
]. Seedlings are easily raised in a nursery and established in the field[
Young plants can often be found under mature trees in the hundreds[
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