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 Senegalia[
Acacia abstergens (Roxb. ex Spreng.) Steud.
Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC.
Acacia gamblei Bahadur & R.C.Gaur
Acacia habbasioides Bojer
Acacia hooperiana Zipp. ex Miq.
Acacia philippinarurn Benth.
Acacia poilanei Gagnep.
Acacia polycephala DC.
Acacia quisumbingii Merr.
Acacia rugata (Lam.) Buch.-Ham. ex Voigt
Acacia rugata Buch.-Ham. ex Benth.
Acacia rugata concinna (Willd.) Kurz
Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Merr.
Arthrosprion stipulatum Hassk.
Guilandina microphylla DC.
Mimosa abstergens Roxb. ex Spreng.
Mimosa concinna Willd.
Mimosa rugata Lam.
Mimosa saponaria Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
Mimosa sinuata Lour.
Mimosa tenuifolia Blanco
Common Name: Soap Pod
Senegalia rugata is a prickly plant that varies in habit from a shrub that can either be scandent or climb into other plants, to a small tree[
]. It can grow from 7.5 - 18 metres tall with occasional specimens up to 30 metres[
]. The plant usually produces several main stems which can be up to 10cm in diameter[
The seedpods are widely used as a soap substitute in India, whilst the tree also supplies food, tannins and is used medicinally. The pods are usually harvested from the wild and are a common item of commerce in local markets.
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.
E. Asia - southern China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea.
Rain forest, disturbed forest, open grassland, fields, creek sides, in open areas often a sprawling shrub; also recorded from limestone; at elevations from 50 - 1050 metres[
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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[
Leaves - cooked[
]. The acid-flavoured leaves can be used as a substitute for tamarinds (Tamarindus indica) in chutneys[
]. They are also added to soups[
Fruits - cooked[
]. Roasted, or used as a sour flavouring[
Flowers - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
This plant is used medicinally[
The leaf juice is applied topically to boils[
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[
]. This plant is important for its 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[
The pods are rich in saponins[
]. They are widely used in India as a detergent for washing silks and woollen goods, and are also very commonly used for washing the hair[
]. They are very effective in cleaning tarnished silver plates[
]. It is said that yarn washed with these pods prior to being dyed will produce much better results from the dyeing[
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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