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Useful Temperate Plants

Acacia provincialis

A.Camus

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

Common Name: Swamp Wattle

No Image.

General Information

Acacia provincialis is a tree usually growing 5 - 6 metres tall with a spreading, openly-branched to dense crown. It sometimes reaches 8 - 10 metres on the wetter sites. A single-stemmed plant, though it sometimes divides into 2 - 4 main stems from low down, the trunk can be 10 - 30cm in diameter[
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
 
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is regarded as having reasonably good prospects as a crop plant for high volume wood production[
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
 
]. The plant is cultivated as an ornamental in many warm temperate regions of the world, and is also grown at higher elevations in the tropics.

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 - South Australia, Victoria

Habitat

Seasonally waterlogged or perpetually wet soils (acidic sand to clay) in swamps and along watercourses[
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
 
]

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height6.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Acacia provincialis is a plant of the temperate zone of southern Australia. In some parts of their range the plants are fairly frost-hardy, though in others they can be damaged by frosts[
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. Plants can tolerant low levels of salt in the soil[
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
 
].
Plants can grow quickly when young, though that are usually rather short-lived and die when around 10 - 20 years old[
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
 
].
Plants have been recorded as reaching a height of 3 metres within 2 years from seed, with trunks 10 - 15cm in diameter[
130
Title
The Plantsman. Vol. 4. 1982 - 1983.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1982
ISBN
-
Description
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants, including Distylium racemosum and some perennial members of the family Berberidaceae.
].
Widely cultivated for horticultural purposes; although the flowers are unobtrusive they occur sporadically throughout much of the year, with the main flush in spring[
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
 
].
Plants do not produce suckers, nor do they respond well to coppicing[
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
 
].
Plants can be killed by fire, but they usually regenerate well though seeds in the soil that are stimulated to germinate by the heat of the fire[
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
 
].
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
 
].
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. The seed are considered to have potential as a source of human food[
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
 
]. 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
 
].
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
 
].

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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The species is sometimes used for revegetation purposes in southern Australia, especially along roadverges[
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
 
].
The plant is a useful species for a windbreak[
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
 
].

Other Uses

The bark is a good source of tannins[
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
 
].

Good quantities of gum are obtained from the plant, thoug not as much as is found on the closely related Acacia retinodes. The gum has good, solubility but the resulting solution is of low viscosity and this property, together with its dark colour, makes it unlikely to be of any commercial importance[
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
 
].

The phyllodes can be used to dye wool a yellow to fawn colour with an alum mordant[
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
 
].

The wood is exceptionally lightweight in relation to its volume[
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
 
].

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. 2022-11-28. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Acacia+provincialis>

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