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[
Vachellia elatior is a spiny, evergreen tree with a rounded or flattish crown of pendulous branches; it can grow 7 - 40 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It can be planted along rivers to stabilize the soil.
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.
East tropical Africa - southern Somalia, Uganda, Kenya.
Sandy riverbanks in short grass savannah, often with Acacia tortilis; along rivers and lakes, also near dry luggas and drainage lines; at elevations up to 1,750 metres[
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A plant of the seasonal, somewhat dry tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,750 metres. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 500 - 1,200mm[
Grows best in a sunny position. The fastest growth occurs on sites such as river beds where there is a good supply of moisture in the soil[
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 decoction of the bark is used to treat diarrhoea and gonorrhoea, and also as a remedy for coughs[
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 can be planted along the banks of rivers in order to stabilize the soil[
The wood is used to make drinking vessels[
The wood is a good fuel and produces a good quality charcoal[
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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