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 impressa Lindl.
Racosperma penninerve (Sieber ex DC.) Pedley
Acacia penninervis is an erect to spreading shrub or a small tree that can grow up to 8 metres tall, but is usually smaller[
]. 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.
The bark (and, according to some, the leaves) of this tree was formerly used by the aboriginals of southern New South Wales for catching fish. They would throw them into a waterhole, when the fish would rise to the top and be easily caught. Neither the leaves nor bark contain strictly poisonous substances, but, like the other species of Acacia, they would be deleterious, owing to their astringency[
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 - Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland
Understorey of open eucalypt forest[
]. Moist and dry sclerophyll forest and woodland[
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Acacia penninervis is native to the temperate and subtropical climate of eastern Australia where, at least in the south of its range, it experiences frosts.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
The plant can produce flowers all year round[
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[
A gum is obtained from the trunk and the stems[
]. Not of the highest quality[
Tannin is obtained from the bark[
]. The bark contains around 17.9% tannic acid and 3.8% gallic 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[
Fibres obtained from the bark can be used for making paper[
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[