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Useful Tropical Plants

Vachellia drepanolobium

(Harms ex Y.Sjöstedt) P.J.H.Hurter

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 should retain the name Acacia, whilst other sections of the genus should be transferred to other genera. This species is transferred to 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 drepanolobium Harms ex Y.Sjöstedt

Acacia formicarum Harms

Acacia lathouwersii Staner

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Vachellia drepanolobium is a slender shrub or a tree, with short branches radiating from main stem, or sometimes with an open spreading top, usually growing 1 - 5 metres tall, occasionally reaching 8 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is harvested on a commercial scale for its gum and is also cultivated for the production of the gum in Tanzania[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

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

500
Title
Flora of Somalia
Publication
 
Author
Thulin M. (Editor)
Publisher
Kew Publishing, London.
Year
1993
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the plants of the region, often adding notes on the plants uses.

Range

Eastern Tropical Africa - Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania

Habitat

Shrub and dwarf-tree grassland, usually on hard-pan grey soils or heavy black soils; grassland, often gregarious over large areas liable to flooding; at elevations from 20 - 2,680 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Vachellia drepanolobium grows in tropical regions of eastern Africa in areas where the mean annual rainfal is within the range 500 - 1,300mm[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
].

Vachellia drepanolobium is probably the most common Acacia in eastern Africa and, in areas such as Ethiopia it is considered by some to be an invasive species that reduces the quality of pasture on the range. Other research, however, has suggested that it can actually lead to an increase in productivity and palatability of the range by encouraging more productive grass species to grow under its canopy[
1305
Title
Encroachment of Acacia brevispica and Acacia drepanolobium in Semi-Arid Rangelands of Ethiopia and their Influence o
Publication
Research Journal of Botany 5(1):1-13; January 2010
Author
Beyene S.; Mlambo V.
Publisher
 
Year
2010
ISBN
10.3923/rjb.2010.
Description
 
].
This species is cultivated in parts of east Africa for the production of gum arabic[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
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.

Edible Uses

Young galls[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
]. Soft and fleshy, with a sweet, often slightly bitter flavour[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
]. The galls need to be eaten young, before they are bored into by the ants that live on the tree. Older galls are hard, fibrous and unpalatable[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
].

Young pods - eaten as a vegetable[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Inner bark[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
]. Rather fibrous, but it has a sweetish bitter taste and can be chewed[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
].

Medicinal

The bark and roots have medicinal uses[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
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:

The flowers are a good source of nectar for bees[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Other Uses

A gum is obtained from the trunk and branches[
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Known as East African Gum Arabic, it is used like gum arabic (Vachellia nilotica)[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
].

The prickly branches are used to make stock-proof fences[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
].

The wood is a good fuel[
1304
Title
Traditional Food Plants of Kenya
Publication
 
Author
Patrick M Maundu
Publisher
Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums
Year
1999
ISBN
9966986146
Description
A concise guide to the edible plants of Kenya
].

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. 2018-09-26. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Vachellia+drepanolobium>

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