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[
Common Name: Corkwood Wattle
Vachellia bidwillii is a shrub or a tree with an open crown and branches that are sometimes pendulous; it can grow from 1.5 - 12 metres tall. The fairly straight bole can be 50 - 75% of the total height of the tree[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of maerials. It has potential for use as a pioneer species for restoring native woodland.
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 - Queensland
A scattered understorey tree in grassy, open eucalypt woodland; open forest; Acacia woodland; shrubland, in clay, loam, sandy or stony soils on plains, valleys and slopes; in skeletal soils on rocky slopes; at elevations up to 350 metres[
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Vachellia bidwillii is a plant of the sub-humid tropical zone of eastern Australia zone, where it is found at elevations up to 350 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 32°c, but can tolerate 10 - 40°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 550 - 750mm, but tolerates 450 - 850mm, with a dry season of 2 - 6 months[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in a wide range of well-drained soils of moderate or low fertility[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant.
Plants are tolerant of fires, resprouting freely at the base if top-killed[
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[
A variable species requiring further systematic study[
The roots of young trees were roasted and eaten[
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 tree is considered a weed in some pastural areas of Queensland following clearance of the Eucalypt woodland[
]. This means that the tree is probably an effective pioneer for use in restoring native woodland[
The heartwood is a dark yellow; the sapwood a light yellow. The wood is close-grained, hard and takes a good polish[
]. It can be used for posts and poles[
The wood makes a good 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[
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