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Useful Temperate Plants

Acacia microbotrya

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 daphnifolia Meissner

Acacia myriobotrya Meissner

Acacia subfalcata Meissner

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Acacia microbotrya is a bushy shrub or a tree that can grow 2 - 7 metres tall[
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.
]. Sometimes a single stem up to 100cm long before branching and up to 11cm in diameter is produced, at other times the plant can branch into 2 - 4 main trunks from the base[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The plant often suckers and can form dense thickets[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. 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[
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 source of materials. It 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
 
].

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

Found in a variety of habitats but often on clay loam or sandy loam flats, often near watercourses, in Eucalyptus woodland[
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 *  *
HabitTree
Height5.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Acacia microbotrya is native to the Mediterranean climate of southwestern Western Australia, where it can be found at elevations up to 430 metres. It grows best in areas where the mean maximum temperature of the hottest months can reach 27 - 34°c, and the mean minimum in the coldest month can fall to 4 - 8°c. The plant can experience moderate frosts, down to around -5°c for short periods. Mean annual rainfall can vary from 320 - 625mm, with a variable dry season that can range from 7 - 8 months[
1301
Title
Acacia Search; Evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for Southern Australia
Publication
 
Author
Maslin B.R. & McDonald M.W.
Publisher
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Western A
Year
2004
ISBN
0642 58585 7
Description
 
].
Requires a sunny position. Grows best in a well-drained, light to medium-textured soil[
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
 
]. Plants can tolerate low to moderate salinity[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Prefers an acid to neutral soil[
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 tolerant of drought[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
A widespread, variable species which, together with 43 relatives Australia-wide, constitutes the informal ‘Acacia microbotrya group’. Some members of the group, particularly Acacia chrysella , Acacia brumalis , Acacia chamaeleon and Acacia microbotrya from Western Australia, are extremely variable and further studies are needed to elucidate the complex variation patterns and clarify the relationships between these species. It is likely that future work will result in the recognition of additional species within this species-complex[
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.
].
A fast-gowing species[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It suckers freely and probably also responds well to coppicing[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The seeds of most acacia species can be quickly and efficiently harvested at full maturity without the need for any specialised equipment. Small seed-bearing branches can be cut and beaten on sheets, or bushes can be beaten or shaken directly onto large sheets[
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
 
].
Acacia microbotrya is especially closely related to Acacia amblyophylla and Acacia jennerae and superficially similar to Acacia galeata[
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.
].
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[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
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 15cm long, occasionally reaching 20c, and around 6 - 8mm wide, with black, oblong to elliptic seeds 5.5 - 8mm 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
 
].

The plant probably produces an edible gum by exudation from the trunk and stems[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. A pleasant, sweetish taste[
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.
]. A tree can often produce 20 kilos of gum in one season - the native Australians would often store it in hollow trees for winter use[
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.
].

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.
].

Other Uses

The bark is a source of tannins[
1292
Title
Acacia species as large-scale crop plants in theWestern Australian wheatbelt
Publication
Conservation Science W. Aust. 4 (3) : 96-108 (2002)
Author
Bartle J.; Cooper D.; Olsen G.; Carslake J.
Website
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283798072
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. 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[
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.
].

A good quality gum is produced in abundance. It forms a superior gum arabic (see Vachellia nilotica)[
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.
].

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. 2018-12-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Acacia+microbotrya>

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