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[
Racosperma confusum (Merr.) Pedley
Acacia confusa is an evergreen tree that can grow 6 - 15 metres tall[
]. The bole can be up to 100cm in diameter in very old trees, though it is usually smaller[
]. Although it produces leaves as a seedling, llike most members of the genus the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. It is often cultivated, especially in southern China and southeast Asia, for its wood and tanins; it is also often grown as a shade tree and to provide shelter near the coast; and is also grown as an ornamental[
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.
SE Asia - Philippines.
On slopes and in dry forests; at elevations up to 800 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Acacia confusa prefers a summer or uniform rainfall regime, a mean annual rainfall of 1,300 - 3,000 mm, and a dry season duration not exceeding 5 months. The mean annual temperature in its native range is 18 - 26°c, with the mean minimum of the coolest month 14 - 16°c and the mean maximum of the hottest month 26 - 29°c, and it will tolerate an absolute minimum temperature of 0°c[
Requires a sunny position. Pregers an acid, freely-draining soil, but succeeding on a wide range of soils including on shallow and infertile sites[
The tree has been cultivated for its wood and as a shade crop in many areas and has sometimes escaped into the wild and become naturalized, being deemed invasive in some areas. It grows well in both dry and mesic habitats, will often resprout after fire, and has formed monotypic stands in pastures and disturbed sites in forests, where it eliminates the native ground cover. Seeds present in the ground can germinate profusely after fire[
The leaves are suspected of having allelopathic properties because other species do not grow beneath the tree[
The tree will usually resprout following a fire, so long as it is not too severe. The fire will also stimulate the germination of seeds, which will grow rapidly to revegetate the burnt-over areas[
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 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 grown to provide shade and shelter, especially near the coast, where it can also be used to help stabilize dunes[
The tree is grown to provide material for green manures[
A natural pioneer species, invading disturbed ground, growing quickly, fixing atmospheric nitrogen, and creating conditions suitable for other trees[
]. It can be used as a pioneer species forrestoring native woodland and establishing woodland gardens[
The tree 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[
Essential oils can be obtained from the plant[
The wood is used for a wide range of purposes including carving, furniture-making, railway sleepers, boat making, tool handles, industrial and non-industrial domestic woodware. It has also shown potential for providing pulp[
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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