Acacia commonly known as Acacias and wattles, it belongs to the pea family (Fabaceae) which has around 160 species of trees and shrubs. These plants are very commonly present in the tropical as well as subtropical areas of the world especially in the Australian continent where they are commonly called as wattles whereas in Africa they are quite famous landmarks on the savanna and veld.
These plants normally grow in warm and dry climates like in Mexico, Hawaii and Southwestern US. The leaves of this plant are normally present in different shades of green they are either bright green or bluish green.
The blooms of Acacia are very small in size and they are pale yellow. Bright yellow or creamy in color. This is an evergreen plant that means that the leaves will stay fresh and green throughout the year.
History of Acacia
Acacia was reported in 1829 by C.F.P Von Martius who was basically from Africa. Then in 2003 several other combinations of this particular plant were reported by Pedley. There are almost 800 species of Acacia which are present around the world.
It is believed that this plant is basically native to Africa and from there it was propagated to other countries as well.
By looking at the history it became clear that this tree was also grown in Israel where it was used to build holy items for tabernacle. It is also said that at first this tree was linked with immortality which is basically an Egyptian myth that says that the legend Osiris was tricked and then he was closed into a box and was thrown into Nile River. This box was then washed off into an area which was near to Acacia tree and the tree grew around the box.
Facts about Acacia Tree
These trees are generally grown very fast but their life span is usually between 20-30years. In areas which are damaged by erosion, there this plant is given importance because they have very long roots which help in the stabilization of soil. The roots of Acacia penetreate the ground so deeply that they reach the underground water and that is why it tolerates water deficiency and can survive drought as well.
Acacia has deep, long and very sharp thorns due to which they have very soar or unpleasant flavor which is why most of the animals do not eat the bark and leaves of this plant.
The thorns of Acacia tree help the plant against animals but interestingly they also help the plants to develop a mutual relationship with harsh ants. By hollowing the thorns these ants make comfortable living space for themselves and in return the ants play a role in the protection of the plant by stinging animals try to eat the leaves.
Their leaves are normally present in the form of tiny thinly divided leaflets which gives the leaves a feather like appearance. In different Australian and Pacific species the leaflets are either completely absent or suppressed and at that time the petioles take the role of leaves functions.
Acacia can also be easily identified due to their smell and small flowers. These flowers are usually present in the form of circular clusters.
The color of these flowers is mostly yellow in color but there are other species of Acacia where the flowers are white in color. These flowers have many stamens which gives them a hairy appearance.
Acacia also bears fruits which are legumes and the shape of the fruits is different depending upon the specie.
Uses of Acacia Tree
Acacia has significant medicinal uses. It is used to treat many ailments and some of the diseases are diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome and also obesity.
It is usually taken by mouth. This tree is used to remove all the harmful toxins from the human body and it is also used as a pre-biotic to enhance the production of good bacteria in the intestine. It is applied in the mouth to treat any kind of plaque as well as gum inflammation.
Acacia helps in weight loss because it is a dietary fiber. When it is eaten then it makes people feel full all the time and as a result they stop overeating. This will result not only in weight loss but also helps in cholesterol control.
This is also important in the economical point of view. Gum Acacia that is mostly present in the Sudan region of Africa is used to synthesize gum that is used in pharmaceuticals, adhesives, inks and other various products. The bark of this plant is rich in tannins that are used in dyes and in inks.
Apart from these uses the Australian Acacia are commonly cultivated in other regions for its beautiful flowers which give it quite significant ornamental value.
Acacia Flower Meaning
There are many positive symbols that are associated with the flower color of Acacia. This flower represents beauty in retreat. In the ancient times the flowers were used in freemasonry specially they were linked with how pure a particular soul was.
In funerals this flower is also used and in such times it is associated with rebirth or immortality.
Regarding the color if the flower color is yellow that means a hidden love and if the color of the flower is creamy or red then it means friendship or grace.
How to Care for Acacia
Acacia is not a demanding tree once you plant it in your garden then you can pretty much forget about it and it will grow on its own. However young Acacia tree may need protection from animals while developing its defense mechanism.
When the plant is young then it is important to water it once in a week, after it is fully developed, you can water it even once in a month.
While watering, immerse the whole area around it to avoid growth of shallow roots.
Acacia tree needs full sunlight so expose it to full sun.
When you notice any dead branches or leaves then prune those regions carefully.