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 ensifolia Hort. ex Steud.
Acacia obliqua Desv.
Acacia plagiophylla Spreng.
Mimosa obliqua Pers.
Racosperma falcatum (Willd.) Mart.
Common Name: Burra Acacia
Acacia falcata is a slender shrub or a tree that can grow from 2 - 5 metres tall, sometimes reaching 9 metres. The bole can be 15 - 30cm in diameter[
]. Although it produces true leaves as a seedling, llike 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 tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials - it is sometimes cultivated for the tannins in its bark[
The bark, which contains much tannin, was used by the aboriginals of the counties of Cumberland and Camden to stupefy fish[
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 - New South Wales, Queensland
A common element of the understorey of Eucalyptus communities, often in shallow stony soil[
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Acacia falcata is native to the moist, temperate to subtropical zone of southeastern Australia.
The plant requires a summy position in a well-drained soil. Prefers a clay or shale 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[
The bark contains tannins and is astringent[
]. It is used to make embrocations for the treatment of cutaneous diseases[
Many Acacia trees also yield more or less of a gum from the trunk and stems. This is sometimes taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and haemorrhoids[
An excellent tree for raising a woody vegetation on drift sand[
The bark contains 35 - 40% tannins[
]. Of good quality[
]. 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 heartwood is light brown; it is demarcated from the thin band of yellow sapwood. The wood is hard, heavy and tough, it is much prized for stock-whip handles[
]. It is bent into acute curves for coach-building purposes[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[
].The dried 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. Sow the seed in Spring in a greenhouse. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
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[