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 cyclopis J.Mackay ex Loudon
Acacia cyclops is a dense, spreading, evergreen shrub, often multi-stemmed, and growing 1 - 6 metres tall, sometimes becoming a small tree with a rounded crown and growing up to 8 metres tall with a bole up to 100cm long and 20cm in diameter. In windy, coastal sites it is sometimes no more than 50cm tall[
]. 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 tree is cultivated to provide shelter, especially in coastal situations, and is also used as a sand dune stabilizer and fuel crop. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
Acacia cyclops is an extremely weedy species, although slow growing. Once established over large areas, it is difficult to remove or replace. It forms dense impenetrable stands that shade out native vegetation and that fire promotes spread into natural vegetation. It is invasive in South Africa where it has become established in forest gaps, dunes and along roadsides and watercourses; it is present in California, USA, where it it is showing invasive tendencies; it is also present in Portugal and is exhibiting invasive characteristics in Europe[
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.
Coastal regions of southern Australia in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria.
Found mainly in coastal heath or scrubland in loam or sand (often over limestone); at elevations up to 300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Acacia cyclops is found in arid and semi-arid subtropical areas with mean annual temperatures of 14 - 19°c and an annual rainfall of 200 - 1,400mm, tolerating very long dry seasons. It is slightly tolerant of frost. It can live in areas with a uniform, bimodal or winter rainfall distribution in Australia, whereas it usually receives summer rainfall in Africa[
Requires a sunny position. Tolerant of highly saline soils[
]. Plants prefer a well-drained soil and are sensitive to waterlogging[
]. Some provenances can tolerate waterlogging[
]. Grows well on calcareous sand or limestone and prefers well drained, sandy or quartzitic soils, but can survive on drier sites such as dune crests, on sodic or alkaline soils and those with impeded drainage]1093].
Plants do not coppice well, and not at all as they grow older[
]. They occasionally produce suckers[
Seeds germinate more freely following a forest fire[
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[
Growing well near the coast, and fixing atmospheric nitrogen, this species is an effective binder of sand dunes[
]. It is cultivated for this purpose in the southern Mediterranean and S. Africa[
The pods and bark are a source of tannins. The bark contains up to 12% tannin[
]. 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[
The wood produces a dense, high-qualityr fuel[
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[