Machaerium acaciefolium Mart. ex Benth.
Machaerium affine Benth.
Machaerium angustifolium Vogel
Machaerium bolivianum Gand.
Machaerium glabratum Pittier
Machaerium glabripes Pittier
Machaerium jacarandifolium Rusby
Machaerium pilosum Benth.
Machaerium rectipes Pittier
Nissolia hirta Vell.
Machaerium hirtum is a spiny, deciduous tree with a small, roundish crown; it can grow from 3 - 11 metres tall. The short, cylindrical bole can be 20 - 40cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It can be used as a pioneer when restoring native woodland and also for establishing woodland gardens. Ornamental when in bloom, it can be used in landscaping[
S. America - Paraguay, most regions of Brazil, Bolivia.
Rainforests, dryland forests, wooded savannah and savannah, usually in more open areas and secondary formations; favouring clayey soils, tolerating calcareous and salty soils, and also seasonal inundation of the soil[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Found in the wild in clay soils that can be alkaline or saline[
]. Tolerates dry soils and also seasonal inundation[
The plant resprouts from the base if cut down by felling or fire; it also self-sows freely. It can invade pasture, and can then be difficult to eradicate so is considered to be a weed in pastures by cattle ranchers[
Young plants are fast-growing[
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 has medicinal properties[
The spines obtained from the trunk and branches are used to perform minor surgery such as removing splinters
A fast-growing natural pioneer species that fixes atmospheric nitrogen, it can be used in reforestation schemes for restoring native woodland and also to establish woodland gardens[
The plant is used to make living fences[
The ashes have been used to make soap[
]. This report probably refers to the ashes of the wood being used as a source of potash, mixed with oil to make soap[
The wood is fine-textured, cross-grained, moderately heavy, soft, with moderate mechanical properties and low durability. It is only used locally, for purposes such as rustic constructions, posts etc[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. A high germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 14 - 28 days[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve 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[
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