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Acacia nilotica

   (Family: Fabaceae)
Afrikaans: Lekkerruikpeul English: Scented-pod Acacia  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Tree No.: 179
Height: 4 - 10m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: neutral
Flowering time EDIT
x               x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower scent EDIT
  Flower info
  Single to several, bright, golden yellow, globose inflorescences. The flower stalks are hairy.
Bark / Stem type
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are twice compound, i.e. they consist of 5-11 feather-like pairs of pinnae; each pinna is further divided into 7-25 pairs of small, elliptic leaflets that can be bottle to bright green in colour. The leaf stalks are heavy. Very small glands, almost not noticeable with the naked eye, can be found at the base of most of the upper pinnae pairs.
Fruit colour
  Seed info EDIT
  The pods are very characteristic, resembling a beaded necklace. The pods are flat, straight or slightly curved, and fleshy when young with reddish hairs, becoming dark blackish when mature, deeply constricted between each seed and they do not split open, but break up transversely on the ground into single-seeded segments during March to September. The pods are sweetly scented when crushed and contain a sticky fluid.
Description EDIT
A medium to large tree with a flat or rounded crown.
Can reach a height of 10 m, with an average of 4-7 m in height.

Bears single to several, bright, golden yellow flowers.

The bark is blackish grey or dark brown in mature trees and deeply grooved, with longitudinal fissures.
Growing EDIT
It is very drought resistant but slightly frost tender.
The trees are slow growing.

It can easily be grown from seed. Please ensure that the seeds are cleaned properly. They can be slightly scarified or left in hot water for a few hours or overnight. For best results sow seed in separate bags as it develops a taproot very quickly. Seed normally germinates reasonably fast within 7-15 days.
Distribution EDIT
This tree occurs in a variety of woodland types, wooded grassland and scrub escarpment, forests and low-lying forest, in deep soil and along rivers. It is found in large areas of KwaZulu-Natal , Swaziland , eastern and northern Mpumalanga , the northern part of Gauteng , throughout Limpopo and the northeastern part of the North-West. This subspecies occurs south of the Zambezi River.
History EDIT
Acacia is from the Greek word akis meaning sharp point, nilotica refers to it occurring along the Nile River.
The wood of this species is hard and reddish in colour and most of the browsers eat the leaves. It is used as firewood and for fencing posts.

The bark exudes an edible gum and is used medicinally and can also be used as glue.

The Zulus take a decoction of the bark as a cough remedy.

The Voortrekkers made ink and dyes from the pods (red, black and yellow).

Other parts of the tree were used to treat eye diseases, or as a tranquillizer and even as an aphrodisiac.
A root extract was used in the treatment of tuberculosis, impotence, diarrhoea, haemorrhages, toothache, dysentery and gonorrhoea.
Extracts made from the leaves are used in the treatment of menstrual problems, eye infections, sores (specifically those caused by leprosy), ulcers, indigestion and haemorrhage.
Ecology EDIT
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