(Redirected from Acacia muricata)
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 should retain the name Acacia, whilst other sections of the genus should be transferred to other genera. This species is transferred to Senegalia[
Acacia muricata (L.) Willd.
Acacia nudiflora Willd.
Acacia rohriana DC.
Mimosa muricata L.
Mimosa nigricans Vahl
Senegalia muricata is a small deciduous tree with a thin, open crown; it can grow up to 10 metres tall, perhaps taller. The bole can be up to 15cm in diameter[
The tree is sometimes used as a substitute for Leucaena leucocephala where that species is affected by psyllids. It is also sometimes 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.
Moist forests at elevations up to 330 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The plant flowers intermittently throughout the year, the fruits are persistent[
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[
This species is used as an alternative to Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk) de Wit in areas where where the latter is affected by psyllids[
]. These uses are as follows:-
Plants are sometimes used in re-reforestation projects[
]. It is a fast growing plant with an extensive root system and has been used in land reclamation, for preventing soil erosion and as a shade plant for coffee crops[
]. It thrives on steep slopes and in marginal areas with extended dry seasons, making it a prime candidate for restoring forest cover, watersheds and grasslands[
An aggressive taproot system helps break up compacted subsoil layers, improving the penetration of moisture into the soil and decreasing surface runoff[
Leucaena was one of the first species to be used for the production of green manure in alley-cropping systems. The leaves, even with moderate yields, contain more than enough nitrogen to sustain a maize crop[
]. The finely divided leaves decompose quickly, providing a rapid, short-term influx of nutrients[
]. It has even been suggested that the leaves decompose too rapidly, resulting in leaching of nutrients away from the crop-rooting zone before they are taken up by the crop[
]. This also means that they have little value as mulch for weed control[
]. The tree has the potential to renew soil fertility and could be particularly important in slash-and-burn cultivation, as it greatly reduces the fallow period between crops[
The heartwood is reddish-brown, the sapwood light brown. The wood is hard, heavy, strong and durable[
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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