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 atacorensis Aubrév. & Pellegr.
Acacia boboensis Aubrév.
Acacia chariensis A.Chev.
Acacia flava atacorensis (Aubrév. & Pellegr.) Aubrév.
Acacia flava chariensis (A.Chev.) Roberty
Acacia hockii De Wild.
Acacia holstii Taub.
Acacia seyal multijuga Schweinf. ex Baker f.
Acacia stenocarpa boboensis Aubrév.
Acacia stenocarpa chariensis (A.Chev.) Aubrév.
Vachellia hockii is a multi-stemmed shrub growing 2 - 4 metres tall, or sometimes a small tree with an open crown, growing 6 - 7 metres tall and occasionally 9 metres wide[
The plant has a wide range of mainly traditional uses, as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Vachellia hockii is a widespread species found in moist savannah landscapes of sub-Saharan Africa. In East Africa particularly, it is one of the most common small Acacia species, and was noted as invasive in parts of Uganda in the middle of the 20th century. It appears to be a typical native invader, increasing in plant density dramatically following certain changes to land management such as altering the fire regime or grazing system and/or changing climates. There are no records of intentional or accidental introduction of the plant to other countries, though there is a risk of invasion in other parts of its native range[
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.
Tropical Africa - Guinea to Eritrea, south to Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; Arabian Peninsula
Found in a diverse range of habitats, including deciduous woodland, wooded grassland, thicket; scrub; deciduous and semi-evergreen bushland; on sandstone hills[
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Vachellia hockii is a tropical species, preferring moist savannah regions with a mean annual rainfall within the range 430 - 860mm, and so is generally absent in the true Sahelian zone and other drier savannahs where other Acacia species generally dominate. It can tolerate very high temperatures but is intolerant of frost[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Succeeds in a wide range of soils, including saline soils, and is tolerant of poor 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 inside of the bark is edible as a famine food. Inner bark fibre is also chewed for its juice, which has a sweet taste, and the Maasai chew the white inner bark to slake thirst[
An edible, translucent, reddish exudate gum is obtained from the plant[
The plant (part not specified) is used to treat malaria, and is applied topically to treat abscesses[
The boiled bark is given to children as a treatment for fever[
The root is analgesic, febrifuge, stomachic, vermifuge[
]. A decoction is used as a remedy for hookworm, and also for the treatment of tuberculosis and related ailments[
The leaves and young shoots are diuretic, vermifuge. They are used to treat dropsy, gout, oedema and swellings[
The flowers are sweet scented and are a good source of bee forage[
A fibre obtained from the bark is used for rope making and basketry[
The tree is a good source of tannins[
A translucent, reddish exudate gum is obtained from the trunk. It has been marketed as African gum arabic, but is inferior to true gum arabic (from Acacia senegal). It can be used as an adhesive[
The wood is hard and straight grained, but is susceptible to termites and decay. In addition, its usually small bole size, and availability of other species, means that it is mainly only used for traditional purposes such as in the construction of homes and shade housing for cattle[
Where common, the wood is often used as a source of firewood, and also for making a good quality charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position[
]. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c[
]. Plants quickly produce a long taproot and are resentful of disturbance - they should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel in a frame[
]. Fair percentage[
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