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 gorinii Chiov.
Acacia nubica Benth.
Acacia oerfota (Forssk.) Schweinf.
Acacia pterygocarpa Benth.
Mimosa oerfota Forssk.
Vachellia oerfota is a shrub growing up to 5 metres tall. The plant has short, thick thorns about 2cm long and often pointing backwards[
The bark is harvested from wild trees as a source of tannins[
], whilst the plant is also a source of fuel and has local medicinal applications..
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.
Eastern tropical Africa from Tanzania north to Egypt, through Arabia to Iran.
Deciduous bushland and semi-desert scrub at elevations from sea level to 1,600 metres in Eritrea[
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Prefers a well-drained, circumneutral to slightly acid soil and a position in full sun[
Plants respond well to coppicing and pollarding[
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 bark extract is used to treat rheumatism[
The thorns are used as a vermifuge[
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 bark is a source of tannins[
]. Bark harvested for its tannins should only be taken from mature stems, and only when the sap is rising at the beginning of the growing season - which is when the tannin content is highest and the bark is most easily removed from the wood[
A fibre is obtained from the bark[
The wood is used for 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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