December 12
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Plant Species of the genus Acacia

Information about this genus
Name: Acacia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Most acacias require well-drained soil and full sun, although some thrive in semi-shade. In mild climates, acacias are among the most easily grown of any trees and shrubs. This very quality makes them likely to become environmental weeds, as has happened in the case of some Australian species in South Africa, and some African and American species in Australia. For this reason, it is important to be careful about introducing non-native species into environments that might favor their spread. The fast growth of many acacias may be offset by a short life, with many of the shrubby species reaching their prime in as little as 5 years and declining thereafter. Decline in vigor is often accompanied by insect damage to bark or foliage; replacing the plants is usually more practical than controlling the insects. Most acacias do not take kindly to hard pruning, as this causes gum exudation and opens the way for insect and fungal attack. Propagation is nearly always from seed, the rare exceptions being the relatively few cultivars of prostrate habit or with colored foliage. Seeds should be treated by rubbing on sandpaper or pouring boiling water over them, followed by soaking in cold water for a day?germination is usually then rapid. Seedlings are best planted out at an early stage.
Description: In Australia, where the largest number of true Acacia species originate, they are invariably called wattles. Until the early nineteenth century Acacia was classified in the genus Mimosa, and mimosa persists as their common name in Europe. In North America it is Robinia pseudoacacia which is known as ?acacia?. The genus Acacia consists of at least 1,200 species of which over 900 are Australian; its other major centers are Africa and warmer parts of the Americas, with a smaller number in tropical Asia and islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Most are shrubs or small to medium-sized trees, but a few are either large forest trees or climbers scrambling by hooked spines. Like other members of the mimosa subfamily of legumes, they have small flowers densely crowded into spikes or globular heads, the stamens more conspicuous than the tiny petals. Flower color is yellow, cream or white, with rare exceptions. The leaf structure is basically bipinnate with many small leaflets?but in many species the leaves on developing seedlings soon lose their bipinnate blades and the leaf stalks widen in a vertical plane to form phyllodes, taking over the leaves? photosynthetic function. Australian Acacia species display a wide range of phyllode shapes and sizes, some quite bizarre. The acacia fruit is a typical legume pod, splitting open when ripe to reveal a row of hard seeds. In Africa, though the number of Acacia species is much smaller than in Australia, they form an important part of the scenery over large areas. These are the ?thorn trees? with their characteristic flat-topped crowns, fine bipinnate leaves, and branches armed with sharp spines arranged in pairs at the leaf nodes. The spines of some African acacias are exceptionally large and fierce; in a few species the spines are much thicker than the branchlets that bear them. This peculiarity also occurs in a group of tropical American acacias. These large spines may be hollow, providing shelter for ants. Most acacias are fast growers that rapidly colonize disturbed soil. Being legumes, they can obtain nitrogen from the air and convert it into soil nitrogen, the most valuable of plant nutrients. This ability assists their growth in low-nutrient soils, thus making them useful plants for restoring vegetation on denuded areas. Economic uses of acacias include timber, tanbark, gums (exuded from bark wounds), and edible seeds or seedpods; many species are valued for ornament or landscape use. Australian acacias especially are noted for their abundant displays of blossom, brilliant golden yellow in many cases, and characteristically appearing in winter or spring.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Acacia acinacea 8-10
Acacia adunca 9-11
Acacia alpina 8-10
Acacia amblygona 9-11
Acacia amoena 8-10
Acacia aneura 9-10
Acacia aphylla 9-10
Acacia auriculiformis 10-12
Acacia baileyana 8-10
Acacia bancroftii 9-11
Acacia binervia 9-11
Acacia brunioides 9-11
Acacia burkittii 8-10
Acacia buxifolia 8-10
Acacia cardiophylla 8-11
Acacia catechu 10-12
Acacia cavenia 9-11
Acacia chinchillensis 9-11
Acacia cognata 9-11
Acacia conferta 9-11
Acacia continua 9-11
Acacia crassa 9-11
Acacia cultriformis 8-11
Acacia dealbata 8-10
Acacia decora 8-11
Acacia decurrens 9-10
Acacia elata 9-11
Acacia enterocarpa 9?11
Acacia erioloba 9-11
Acacia farnesiana 11-12
Acacia fimbriata 9-11
Acacia flexifolia 9?11
Acacia floribunda 9-11
Acacia glaucoptera 9-11
Acacia hakeoides 8-11
Acacia harpophylla 9-11
Acacia havilandiorum 9?11
Acacia howittii 9-11
Acacia implexa 8-11
Acacia karroo 9-11
Acacia koa 9-11
Acacia lanigera 8-11
Acacia linifolia 9-11
Acacia longifolia 9-11
Acacia mangium 11-12
Acacia mearnsii 8-11
Acacia melanoxylon 8-11
Acacia muelleriana 9?11
Acacia myrtifolia 8-11
Acacia neriifolia 9-11
Acacia oxycedrus 8-10
Acacia paradoxa 8-11
Acacia pendula 9-11
Acacia podalyriifolia 9-11
Acacia pravissima 8-10
Acacia prominens 9-11
Acacia pubescens 9-11
Acacia pustula 9-11
Acacia pycnantha 9-11
Acacia rehmanniana 9-11
Acacia rhetinocarpa 8-10
Acacia rigens 8-10
Acacia rubida 8-10
Acacia saligna 9-11
Acacia senegal 10-12
Acacia sophorae 9-11
Acacia spectabilis 9-11
Acacia tindaleae 9-11
Acacia tortilis 9-11
Acacia triptera 9-11
Acacia uncinata 9-11
Acacia verticillata 9-11
Acacia victoriae 8-11
Acacia wilhelmiana 8-10
Acacia xanthophloea 9-11

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