Acacia tree (Acacia senegal, Acacia seyal)
Main Facts about Acacia tree
Over 1300 species! 960 are in Australia, the rest all over the world especially warm and tropical areas. This is the famous "Africa tree" we always see in pictures with a giraffe eating from it. There are even a dozen species in America and Europe. The African varieties tend to be thorny (called "thorn trees") , the Australian ones have no thorns. Acacias generally have fuzzy yellow flowers and reddish brown wood. Very fire resistant. Seed pods are three inches long with 5-6 brownish black edible seeds. Gum arabic is a natural gum made of the hardened sap ofthe acacia tree. In many Australian and Pacific species, the leaflets are suppressed or absent altogether, and the leafstalks (petioles) are flattened and perform the physiological functions of leaves. Acacias are also distinguished by their small, often fragrant flowers, which are arranged in compact globular or cylindrical clusters. The flowers are usually yellow but occasionally white and have many stamens apiece, giving each one a fuzzy appearance.
Using Acacia treeUsed to treat sore throat, relieving clogged bronchial passages, and is often mixed with water to make a paste to soothe and heal external injuries. High tannin levels make it very astringent and a good preservative. Bark, root and resin used to make incense and also ink dye.
Acacia tree is a remedy for: Cold and flu
Caution!Nineteen different species of American Acacia contain potentially toxic cyanogenic glycosides. Some of these are : Acacia erioloba, cunninghamii, obtusifolia, sieberiana. Do not take for more than two or three weeks without a break. Do not take if suffering from kidney inflammation.
Cooking with Acacia treeYoung leaves, flowers and pods are edible raw or cooked. Seeds are often used for food, either raw or toasted with salt, or ground into powder and added to sauces. Young shoots are added to salads, soups, curries, omelettes and stir-fries. Acacia is a common ingredient in soft drinks and liqueurs. Bark is used to make a gum called Gum Arabic, a thickening agent in icing, fillings, chewing gum and other confectionery treats.
How to grow Acacia treeThe Acacia tree thrives in hot, dry regions. It does best when planted in medium porous and well-drained soil. To further benefit your Acacia, consider following these simple tips: 1) do not water the tree every day. It grows better in slightly dry conditions; 2) use minimal fertilizer. Recently planted Acacia trees benefit from fertilizer every 15-20 days. However, once the tree has matured, you should only be using fertilizer once every 4 to 6 weeks. Acacias need to be pruned from time to time. The best time to do this is on a hot, dry day. Also, you should only remove dead limbs from the tree and avoid pruning leafy areas. Acacias require direct sunlight in order to grow and thrive, so you want to plant your tree away from the shade of buildings or other trees. Acacia can be propagated via seed or cuttings. Acacia has short lifespan. Most species live between 15 to 30 years.