A very polymorphic species[
]. It hybridises with several other members of this genus, especially with species in the Acacia verniciflua complex[
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 armata R.Br.
Acacia microcantha A.Dietr.
Acacia ornithophora Sweet
Acacia tristis Graham
Acacia undulata Willd.
Mimosa armata (R.Br.) Poir.
Mimosa paradoxa (DC.) Poir.
Phyllodoce armata (R.Br.) Link
Phyllodoce undulata Willd. ex Link
Racosperma armata (R.Br.) Mart.
Common Name: Kangaroo Thorn
Acacia paradoxa is an erect or spreading, thorny, evergreen shrub that can grow 1 - 4 metres tall[
]. Although it produces leaves as a seedling, llike most members of the genus the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is grown as an ornamental, and can be used as a hedge.
The plant is naturalized in the United States and is invasive in South Africa. It invades exposed erosion slopes, valleys, pine plantations, agricultural lands and fynbos. Its dense growth may potentially reduce the abundance of native species. The seeds are dispersed by ants, they tolerate diverse environmental conditions and have the potential to colonise the land[
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[
]. Especially when harvesting from the wild, especial care should be taken to ensure correct identification of any plants harvested for food[
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 - Southern Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
Grows in dry sclerophyl forests[
]. Usually grows in woodland or open forest[
]. Found in a wide range of habitats, growing in various soil types[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Acacia paradoxa is found in the temperate and subtropical areas of Australia. It is able to withstand occasional and short-lived frosts, tolerating temperatures occasionally falling to between -5 and -10Â°c so long as the weather is fairly dry[
Apart from its sensitivity to cold, this is a very tough plant that stands both wet and drought well, it is lime-tolerant and also withstands salt-laden winds[
]. Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position[
]. Succeeds in dry soils. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey[
]. Most members of this genus become chlorotic when grown on limey soils[
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[
Flowers - cooked[
]. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters.
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[
Plants are heavily armed with thorns and make a good screen or hedge in warm temperate areas, though they can be difficult to manage[
]. It is used for covering coastal sands with an unapproachable, prickly vegetation[
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
A green dye is obtained from the seed pods[
The wood is small but beautifully grained, hard and durable[
]. Light in weight and tough, but seldom used.
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[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, mid summer in individual pots in a frame[
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[