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 pendula glabrata F.Muell. ex Maiden
Racosperma melvillei (Pedley) Pedley
Common Name: Yarran
Acacia melvillei is a tree that can grow to around 15 metres tal[
]. It often produces suckers[
]. 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 plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials.
Acacia melvillei has a large but scattered distribution in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria in Australia. There are some threats to this species habitat from grazing by livestock and rabbits, soil erosion and invasive weed species. There have been many observations of dead or dying mature individuals of this species and low levels of recruitment. Further research is recommended to determine the species current population trend. The plant is currently classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
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 - northern Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland
Found in loam, clay and sandy soils, usually in mixed open woodland and woodland[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Acacia melvillei has a wide distribution, being found in seven ecoregions but mostly within the Brigalow tropical savannah; Murray-Darling woodlands and mallee; and Southeast Australia temperate savannah ecoregions[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
This species is reported to hybridise with Acacia loderi in Victoria[
This species is very close to Acacia omalophylla and in Queensland both are known as Yarran[
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 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[
Bark from this variety, obtained from near Hay, New South Wales, yielded 17.9% of extract, and 7.15% of catechu-tannic acid[
]. 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[
This species is used sometimes to make fencing posts[
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[