(Redirected from Acacia amythethophylla)
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 Vachellia[
Acacia amythethophylla Steud. ex A. Rich.
Acacia buchananii Harms
Acacia dalzielii Craib
Acacia macrothyrsa Harms
Acacia prorsispinula Stapf
Vachellia amythethophylla is a spiny, much-branched, shrub with a lax habit of growth, or tree that with a rounded, spreading crown; it can grow from 3 - 15 metres tall. The bole of larger specimens can be unbranched for up to 8 metres and up to 35cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials.
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.
Drier areas of tropical Africa - Cote D'Ivoire and Mali to Nigeria; Ethiopia south to Tanzania, then Angola to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Deciduous savannah woodland; savannah forest, sometimes forming thorny thickets; wooded grassland; dambos, rocky savannah, alluvial plains (Zaire); rocky hillsides; at elevations from 600 - 2,000 metres, occasionally descending to near sea level[
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A plant of drier areas in the tropics, where it generally needs a mean annual rainfall in excess of 1,000mm if it is to thrive[
], though it can also be found in areas with as little as 600mm[
Requires a sunny position. Succeeds on shallow, gravelly soils[
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 roots are astringent and laxative. They are used in the treatment of diarrhoea[
Extracts of the wood are used for healing wounds and skin infections[
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 heartwood is reddish with black streaks; the sapwood yellow with orange streaks. The wood is hard, easy to split.[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
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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