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The Info List - Acacia


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some 980 species

Range of the genus Acacia

Synonyms

Acacia
Acacia
subg. Phyllodineae DC.[1] Esclerona Raf.

Acacia
Acacia
facsiculifera shoot, showing phyllodes on the pinnate leaves, formed by dilation of the petiole and proximal part of the rachis[2]

Acacia, commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae
Mimosoideae
of the pea family Fabaceae. Initially it comprised a group of plant species native to Africa and Australia, with the first species A. nilotica described by Linnaeus. Controversy erupted in the early 2000s when it became evident that the genus as it stood was not monophyletic, and that several divergent lineages needed to be placed in separate genera. It turned out that one lineage comprising over 900 species mainly native to Australia
Australia
was not closely related to the mainly African lineage that contained A. nilotica —the first and type species. This meant that the Australian lineage (by far the most prolific in number of species) would need to be renamed. Botanist Les Pedley named this group Racosperma, which was inconsistently adopted. Australian botanists proposed that this would be more disruptive than setting a different type species (A. penninervis) and allowing this large number of species to remain Acacia, resulting in the two African lineages being renamed Vachellia
Vachellia
and Senegalia, and the two New World lineages renamed Acaciella
Acaciella
and Mariosousa.[3] This was officially adopted, but many botanists from Africa and elsewhere disagreed that this was necessary. A number of species have been introduced to various parts of the world, and two million hectares of commercial plantations have been established.[4] The heterogeneous group[5] varies considerably in habit, from mat-like subshrubs to canopy trees in forest.[6]

Contents

1 Taxonomy

1.1 Etymology

2 Evolution 3 Fossil
Fossil
record 4 Distribution and habitat 5 Description 6 Uses

6.1 Cultivation

7 Species 8 Symbolism 9 References 10 External links

Taxonomy[edit] The genus was first described from Africa by C. F. P. von Martius in 1829. Several hundred combinations in Acacia
Acacia
were published by Pedley in 2003.[1] The genus of 981[7] species, Acacia
Acacia
s.l., in the subfamily Mimosoideae
Mimosoideae
of the pea family Fabaceae
Fabaceae
is monophyletic. All but 10 of its species are native to Australia,[7] where it constitutes the largest plant genus.[5] Following a controversial decision to choose a new type for Acacia
Acacia
in 2005, the Australian component of Acacia
Acacia
s.l. now retains the name Acacia.[8][9] At the 2011 International Botanical Congress
International Botanical Congress
held in Melbourne, the decision to use the name Acacia, rather than the proposed Racosperma for this genus, was upheld.[10][11] Other Acacia s.l. taxa continue to be called Acacia
Acacia
by those who choose to consider the entire group as one genus.[11] Australian species of the genus Paraserianthes
Paraserianthes
s.l. are deemed its closest relatives, particularly with P. lophantha.[12] The nearest relatives of Acacia
Acacia
and Paraserianthes
Paraserianthes
s.l. in turn include the Australian and South East Asian genera Archidendron, Archidendropsis, Pararchidendron and Wallaceodendron, all of the tribe Ingeae.[13] Etymology[edit] The origin of "wattle" may be an Old Teutonic word meaning "to weave".[14] From around 700 A.D. watul was used in Old English
Old English
to refer to the interwoven branches and sticks which formed fences, walls and roofs. Since about 1810 it refers to the Australian legumes that provide these branches.[14] Evolution[edit] Acacias in Australia
Australia
probably evolved their fire resistance about 20 million years ago when fossilised charcoal deposits show a large increase, indicating that fire was a factor even then.[citation needed] With no major mountain ranges or rivers to prevent their spread, the wattles began to spread all over the continent as it dried and fires became more common.[citation needed] They began to form dry, open forests with species of the genera Allocasuarina, Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus
and Callitris
Callitris
(cypress-pines). The southernmost species in the genus are Acacia dealbata
Acacia dealbata
(silver wattle), Acacia longifolia
Acacia longifolia
(coast wattle or Sydney golden wattle), Acacia mearnsii
Acacia mearnsii
(black wattle), and Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
(blackwood), reaching 43°30' S in Tasmania, Australia.[citation needed] Fossil
Fossil
record[edit] An Acacia-like 14 cm long fossil seed pod has been described from the Eocene
Eocene
of the Paris Basin.[15] Acacia
Acacia
like fossil pods under the name Leguminocarpon are known from late Oligocene
Oligocene
deposits at different sites in Hungary. Seed pod
Seed pod
fossils of †Acacia parschlugiana and † Acacia
Acacia
cyclosperma are known from Tertiary deposits in Switzerland,.[16] † Acacia
Acacia
colchica has been described from the Miocene
Miocene
of West Georgia. Pliocene
Pliocene
fossil pollen of an Acacia sp. has been described from West Georgia and Abkhazia.[17] Oldest records of fossil Acacia
Acacia
pollen in Australia
Australia
are from the late Oligocene
Oligocene
epoch, 25 million years ago.[18] Distribution and habitat[edit] They are present in all terrestrial habitats, including alpine settings, rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, coastal dunes and deserts.[6] In drier woodlands or forest they are an important component of the understory. Elsewhere they may be dominant, as in the Brigalow Belt, Myall woodlands and the eremaean Mulga woodlands.[6] In Australia, Acacia
Acacia
forest is the second most common forest type after Eucalypt forest, covering 980,000 square kilometres (378,380 sq mi) or 8% of total forest area. Acacia
Acacia
is also the nation’s largest genus of flowering plants with almost 1,000 species found.[19] Description[edit] Several of its species bear vertically oriented phyllodes, which are green, broadened leaf petioles that function like leaf blades,[20] an adaptation to hot climates and droughts.[21] Some phyllodinous species have a colourful aril on the seed.[2] A few species have cladodes rather than leaves.[22] Uses[edit] Aboriginal Australians
Aboriginal Australians
have traditionally harvested the seeds of some species, to be ground into flour and eaten as a paste or baked into a cake. The seeds contain as much as 25% more protein than common cereals, and they store well for long periods due to the hard seed coats.[21] In addition to utilizing the edible seed and gum, the people employed the timber for implements, weapons, fuel and musical instruments.[6] In ancient Egypt, an ointment made from the ground leaves of the plant was used to treat hemorrhoids.[23] A number of species, most notably A. mangium (hickory wattle), A. mearnsii (black wattle) and A. saligna (coojong), are economically important and are widely planted globally for wood products, tannin, firewood and fodder.[8] A. melanoxylon (blackwood) and A. aneura (mulga) supply some of the most attractive timbers in the genus.[6] Black wattle bark supported the tanning industries of several countries, and may supply tannins for production of waterproof adhesives.[6] Acacia
Acacia
is repeatedly mentioned in the Book of Exodus, perhaps referring to Acacia
Acacia
raddiana, in regards to the construction of the Tabernacle.[24] Acacia
Acacia
is a common food source and host plant for butterflies of the genus Jalmenus. The imperial hairstreak, Jalmenus
Jalmenus
evagoras, feeds on at least 25 acacia species.[25] Cultivation[edit] Some species of acacia - notably A. baileyana, A. dealbata and A. pravissima - are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. The 1889 publication 'Useful native plants of Australia' describes various uses for eating.[26]

Species[edit] See also: List of Acacia
Acacia
species One species is native to Madagascar, one to Reunion island, 12 to Asia, and the remaining species (over 900) are native to Australasia and the Pacific Islands.[8] These species were all given combinations by Pedley when he erected the genus Racosperma, hence Acacia pulchella, for example, became Racosperma pulchellum. However these were not upheld with the retypification of Acacia. Symbolism[edit] Acacia
Acacia
tree symbolizes immortality in the Judeo-Christain thought. It is believed that acacia spines formed the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ. 'Shittah', an acacia species was used to build the Tabernacle. The red and white flowers of the tree also symbolize the duality of life and death. An acacia bough is used by the Freemasonry both as an initiation symbol as well as a funerary tribute, it is in reference to the branch laid on the mythical grave of the biblical Solomon's master builder, Hiram, who was killed by his fellow workers after he refused to reveal the mysteries of his craft. [27] References[edit]

Pedley, L. (2002). "A conspectus of Acacia
Acacia
subgen. Acacia
Acacia
in Australia". Austrobaileya 6(2): 177–186. Pedley, L. (2003). A synopsis of Racosperma C.Mart". Austrobaileya 6(3): 445–496.

^ a b Pedley, Les (2003). "A synopsis of Racosperma. C.Mart. (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae).". Austrobaileya. 6 (3): 445–496. JSTOR 41738994.  ^ a b Wu, Delin; Nielsen, Ivan C. (2009). "Flora of China, 6. Tribe Acacieae" (PDF). Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Retrieved 19 November 2015.  ^ Kyalangalilwa B, Boatwright JS, Daru BH, Maurin O, van der Bank M (2013). "Phylogenetic position and revised classification of Acacia s.l. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) in Africa, including new combinations in Vachellia
Vachellia
and Senegalia." Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 172 (4): 500–523. doi:10.1111/boj.12047.  ^ Midgley and Turnbull ^ a b Murphy, Daniel J. (2008). "A review of the classification of Acacia
Acacia
(Leguminosae, Mimosoideae)" (PDF). Muelleria. 26 (1): 10–26. Retrieved 22 November 2015.  ^ a b c d e f Orchard, Anthony E.; Wilson, Annette J.G. (2001). Flora of Australia. Volume 11A, Mimosaceae, Acacia
Acacia
part 1. Melbourne: CSIRO. pp. x–. ISBN 9780643067172.  ^ a b Pedley, Les (February 2004). "Another view of Racosperma" (PDF). Acacia
Acacia
study group newsletter (90): 3. ISSN 1035-4638. Retrieved 22 November 2015.  ^ a b c Thiele, Kevin R. (February 2011). "The controversy over the retypification of Acacia
Acacia
Mill. with an Australian type: A pragmatic view" (PDF). Taxon. 60 (1): 194–198. Retrieved 15 November 2015.  ^ Brummitt, R. K. (December 2010). "(292) Acacia: a solution that should be acceptable to everybody" (PDF). Taxon. 59 (6): 1925–1926. Retrieved 19 November 2015.  ^ "The Acacia
Acacia
debate" (PDF). IBC2011 Congress News. Retrieved May 5, 2016.  ^ a b Smith, Gideon F. & Figueiredo, Estrela (2011). "Conserving Acacia
Acacia
Mill. with a conserved type: What happened in Melbourne?". Taxon. pp. 1504–1506. Retrieved 27 September 2016.  ^ Brown, Gillian K.; Daniel J. Murphy & Pauline Y. Ladiges (2011). "Relationships of the Australo-Malesian genus Paraserianthes (Mimosoideae: Leguminosae) identifies the sister group of Acacia
Acacia
sensu stricto and two biogeographical tracks". Cladistics. 27: 380–390. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2011.00349.x.  ^ Brown, Gillian K.; Murphy, Daniel J.; Miller, Joseph T.; Ladiges, Pauline Y. (1 October 2008). " Acacia
Acacia
s.s. and its Relationship Among Tropical Legumes, Tribe Ingeae
Ingeae
(Leguminosae: Mimosoideae)". Systematic Botany. 33 (4): 739–751. doi:10.1600/036364408786500136. Retrieved 23 November 2015.  ^ a b Austin, Daniel F. (2004). Florida ethnobotany Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Florida, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona: with more than 500 species illustrated by Penelope N. Honychurch ... [et al.] Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. p. 58. ISBN 9780203491881.  ^ Fossil
Fossil
Plants by Paul Kenrick & Paul Davis, Natural History Muyseum, London, 2004, ISBN 0-565-09176-X ^ Distribution of Legumes in the Tertiary of Hungary
Hungary
by L. Hably, Advances in Legume Systematics: Part 4, The Fossil
Fossil
Record, Ed. P.S. Herendeen & Dilcher, 1992, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, ISBN 0947643400 ^ Leguminosae species from the territory of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
by Alexandra K. Shakryl, Advances in Legume Systematics: Part 4, The Fossil
Fossil
Record, Ed. P.S. Herendeen & Dilcher, 1992, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, ISBN 0947643400 ^ The Greening of Gondwana
Gondwana
by Mary E. White, Reed Books Pty Ltd, Australia, Reprinted issue 1988, ISBN 0730101541 ^ " Acacia
Acacia
forest". Commonwealth of Australia. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.  ^ Armstrong, W. P. "Unforgettable Acacias, A Large Genus
Genus
Of Trees & Shrubs". Wayne's Word. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.  ^ a b Tan, Ria. " Acacia
Acacia
auriculiformis, Black Wattle". Naturia. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.  ^ "Acacia, Thorntree". EOL. Retrieved 22 November 2015.  ^ Ellesmore, Windsor (2002). "Surgical History of Haemorrhoids". In Charles MV. Surgical Treatment of Haemorrhoids. London: Springer.  ^ "Plants of the Bible - ODU Plant Site". Old Dominion University. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2016.  ^ Biology of Australian butterflies. Kitching, R. L. (Roger Laurence), 1945-, CSIRO (Australia). Collingwood, VIC, Australia: CSIRO Pub. 1999. ISBN 0643050272. OCLC 40792921.  ^ J. H. Maiden (1889). Useful native plants of Australia : Including Tasmania. Turner and Henderson, Sydney.  ^ Tresidder, Jack (1997). The Hutchinson Dictionary of Symbols. London: Helicon. p. 9. ISBN 1-85986-059-1. 

External links[edit]

Data related to Acacia
Acacia
at Wikispecies

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q1967330 APDB: 194266 EoL: 27822 GBIF: 2943119 GRIN: 16224

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