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Useful Tropical Plants

Acacia tetragonophylla

F.Muell.

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

Acacia genistoides A.Cunn. ex Benth.

Racosperma tetragonophyllum (F.Muell.) Pedley

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Acacia tetragonophylla is an intricate, often straggly, very prickly shrub or a tree usually growing 2 - 5 metres tall[
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.
,
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. 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, medicine and source of materials. It can be used in soil stabilization and restoration projects and can make a particularly effective impenetrable barrier.

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 - all mainland States

Habitat

Widespread in arid and semi-arid areas, growing in a variety of habitats, but often near watercourses or in mulga communities[
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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height4.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Acacia tetragonophylla is a widespread plant of arid and semi-arid regions in central and southern Australia. It is usually found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 100 - 450mm[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The plant also experiences frosts in at least part of its range.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Found in the wild on soils that can range from sand to clay, and can be either acidic or alkaline[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Plants are very drought tolerant[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Young plants are moderately fast-growing but as they mature they can become very slow-growing[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
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
].
Plants are believed to have a relatively long life-span, probably between 50 - 100 years[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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
 
].
Ccollecting the pods of this species by hand can present problems due to the prickly foliage (stout gloves are recommended). Gently beating the plants and collecting the pods and seeds on a ground sheet beneath is probably a more efficient way of collection; however, the prickly phyllodes may still cause problems, especially for plants where the foliage extends to ground level and when phyllodes become dislodged with the pods[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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
 
,
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
]. Usually eaten green after being cooked in their pods[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
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
]. It can be eaten in the same ways as other small legume seeds and is also 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 10cm long and 4 - 6mm wide, with seeds 4 - 5.5mm 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
 
].

Medicinal

Decoctions of the phyllodes and the bark of the root are used traditionally by Northern Territory aborigines for treating superficial skin lesions, for bandaging of fractures of the limbs and to remove warts, while in Western Australia the bark is used as a remedy for coughs[
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.
,
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

An infusion made from the cleaned inner bark is consumed as a treatment for coughs[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

The ashes of the wood, with the bark removed, has been used as an antiseptic[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

The leaves are chewed as a treatment for dysentery[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This species has been recommended for revegetation on a variety of soil types in the Midlands and northern wheatbelt regions of Western Australia. It is regarded as being suited to revegetating drainage lines in these areas. However, it has also been reported that althoughthe plant is commonly used in rehabilitation in the goldfields the results are generally poor[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is reported to be a useful soil binder in sandy areas[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
With its prickly phyllodes, this species can form a dense, impenetrable barrier. When grown in combination with Acacia colletioides a particularly effective live fence could be produced[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The reddish brown wood has pinkish stripes and smells of violets when cut. It is close-grained, heavy, hard and tough, but is generally too small for anything except tool handles[
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.
,
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used traditionally to make boomerangs[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

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[
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
 
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-05-24. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Acacia+tetragonophylla>

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