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Useful Temperate Plants

Acacia hemiteles

Benth.

Fabaceae


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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Acacia dentifera intermedia S.Moore

Acacia graffiana F.Muell.

Acacia subcaerulea subsessilis E.Pritz.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Acacia hemiteles is a dense, spreading, multi-stemmed shrub growing 50 - 200cm tall and 100 - 400cm wide[
28
Title
Plants for Shade.
Publication
 
Author
Knight. F. P.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society.
Year
1980
ISBN
0-900629-78-9
Description
A small but informative booklet listing plants that can be grown in shady positions with a few cultivation details.
, ]. Although it produces true leaves as a seedling, like most members of this section of the genus, the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and has been suggested as a potential commercial seed crop for areas such as Western Australia[
1293
Title
Domestication of wattles with edible seeds for the wheatbelt of Western Australia
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 170-180 (2002)
Author
McDonald M.W.; Maslin B.R.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It is used as a pioneer and revegetator on degraded lands.

Known Hazards

The seed of many Acacia species, including this one, is edible and highly nutritious, and can be eaten safely as a fairly major part of the diet. Not all species are edible, however, and some can contain moderate levels of toxins[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
]. Especially when harvesting from the wild, especial care should be taken to ensure correct identification of any plants harvested for food[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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.

Botanical References

286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.

Range

Australia - southwestern Western Australia

Habitat

Often common where it occurs, growing in sand, loam or clay soils, in woodland or shrubland, sometimes on laterite or granite rocks[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitShrub
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Acacia hemiteles is native to the Mediterranean and semi-arid climate of southwestern Australia. It is a somewhat frost-tolerant species, surviving several frosts each year in its native environment[
1293
Title
Domestication of wattles with edible seeds for the wheatbelt of Western Australia
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 170-180 (2002)
Author
McDonald M.W.; Maslin B.R.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Requires a sunny position. Succeeds in a wide range of soils, from sands to clays and from moderately alkaline to moderately acid, so long as they are well-drained[
1293
Title
Domestication of wattles with edible seeds for the wheatbelt of Western Australia
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 170-180 (2002)
Author
McDonald M.W.; Maslin B.R.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant.
The pods are usually produced in large quantities and are held terminally, thus accessible for collection. They are easily harvested in large numbers either by hand or (more efficiently) by manually shaking or gently beating the plants and collecting them on a ground sheet. The medium-sized to large seeds (30 000-40 000 viable seeds per kg) are easily removed from the pod[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Plants of this species flower prolifically from an early age; the heads are bright golden and lightly perfumed. For these reasons it could have horticultural potential or be useful as amenity planting in semi-arid areas[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
This species together with four close relatives; Acacia anthochaera, Acacia camptoclada, Acacia dorsenna and Acacia prainii, comprise the informal "Acacia prainii group"[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked[
1293
Title
Domestication of wattles with edible seeds for the wheatbelt of Western Australia
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 170-180 (2002)
Author
McDonald M.W.; Maslin B.R.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It can be eaten in the same ways as other small legume seeds and is also ground into a powder then used as a flavouring in desserts or as a nutritious supplement to pastries and breads[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
]. The seedpods are up to 8cm long and 5 - 8mm wide, with dark brown to black, oblong to elliptic or ovate seeds 3 - 5mm long[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
Acacia seeds are highly nutritious and contain around 26% protein, 26% available carbohydrate, 32% fibre and 9% fat. The fat content is higher than most legumes with the aril providing the bulk of fatty acids present. These fatty acids are largely unsaturated. The energy content is high in all species tested, averaging 1480 ±270 kJ per 100g. The seeds are low glycaemic index foods - the starch is digested and absorbed very slowly, producing a small, but sustained rise in blood glucose and so delaying the onset of exhaustion in prolonged exercise[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
].

The ground seed can be used to produce a high quality, caffeine-free coffee-like beverage[
1295
Title
Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop
Publication
Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops pp 228-236, (1996) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Author
Lister P.R.; Holford P.; Haigh T.; Morrison D.A.
Website
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-toc.html
Publisher
ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-9615027-3-8
Description
 
].

Medicinal

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[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Acacia hemiteles is a disturbance opportunist and is an early coloniser after fire[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is a hardy species suited to revegetation of clay soils. Sometimes it is the only species surviving along highly degraded road verges and it has occasionally been observed to regenerate naturally in gravel pits. It has some potential for providing shade and shelter and as a wildlife refuge, however, maximum benefit for these purposes would be derived if individuals were planted close together. Acacia hemiteles is recommended as being suitable for revegetation on a variety of soil types in the Midlands and northern wheatbelt regions of Western Australia[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant has been been widely used in the rehabilitation of goldfields in Western Australia, where it has demonstrated variable performance; however, once established it plays an important role in soil stabilization[
1297
Title
Wattles of the Kalannie region: their identification, characteristics and utilisation
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R.
Website
http://worldwidewattle.com/
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
Produced on a CDROM, a database of Acacias growing in a region of Western Australia. Fact sheets for individual species can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].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[
1294
Title
Potential of Australian Acacias in combating hunger in semi-arid lands
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3):161-169 (2002)
Author
Rinaudo A.; Patel P.; Thomson L.A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Acacia+hemiteles>

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