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 (including this one) should retain the name Acacia, whilst other sections of the genus should be transferred to the genera Acaciella, Mariosousa, Senegalia and Vachellia[
Acacia celsa is an evergreen tree, usually with a single stem or sparingly branched at the base; it can grow 8 - 30 metres tall. The bole can be up to 80cm in diameter. Although it produces true leaves as a seedling, like most members of this section of the genus, the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
The plant is harvested from the wild for mainly local use of its wood. It is one of a group of species that have been highly recommended as acommercial wood crop for use in tropical plantation forestry.
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 - northeastern Queensland
Occurs as a pioneer or canopy species in rainforest habitats, ranging from coastal plains to steep mountains at elevations up to 900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Acacia celsa is native to the moist tropics of northeastern Australia, growing in areas where the mean annual rainfall ranges from 1,300 - 4,000mm[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
A fast-growing tree[
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[
Acacia celsa is part of the Acacia aulacocarpa group and, prior to the publication by M. W. McDonald and B. R. Maslin; 'Taxonomic revision of the Salwoods: Acacia aulacocarpa Cunn. ex Benth. and its allies (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae: section Juliflorae)', Australian Systematic Botany 13(1) 21 - 78 9 2002); was considered not to be distinct from that species. This new treatment recognizes eight species in the group, Four of these (Acacia celsa, Acacia crassicarpa, Acacia peregrinalis and Acacia midgleyi) are considered to have considerable potential for commercial wood production in tropical plantation forestry[
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[
This is a fast growing species which is favoured by disturbance and is a characteristic regrowth species in North Queensland rain forest[
]. It is a good pioneer species to use when restoring native woodland[
The tree can produce reasonable logs and the timber can be quite useful. It is sometimes used as a substitute for teak[
The wood has been used as framing, weatherboards, joinery and also for furniture, veneer and joinery, turnery and woodcraft items. A recent study of the pulping qualities of tropical acacias sampled from natural stands showed Acacia celsa as having one of the strongest, bleached kraft pulps tested[
Prior to 2002, this species was not considered to be distinct from Acacia aulocarpa. Like that species, Acacia celsa has a good quality wood and has been recommended for growing in commercial plantations. We do not have a specific description for the wood of this species, but it is likely to be very similar to that of Acacia aulocarpa - the description of which is given below:-
The heartwood is a pale olive-brown to grey-brown, often attractively streaked with grey bands; it is distinctly demarcated from the narrow band of creamy yellow to straw-coloured sapwood[
]. The wood is hard, heavy, moderately durable and tough[
]. It is used as a construction timber, for furniture and cabinetwork, flooring, boat building, tool handles, boxes and crates, joinery and turnery[
The wood has excellent potential as a source of fibre for the pulping and paper-making industries, producing one of the strongest bleached kraft pulps among acacias[
The wood dries rapidly and splits easily. It is an excellent fuel with an energy value of 21,600 kJ/kg[
]. Charcoal made from the wood has a density of 500 kg/cubic metre at 12.5% moisture and an energy value of 37 100 kJ/kg[
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[