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Acacia aulacocarpa

Acacia aulacocarpa

Eurosiden I
Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Subfamily : Mimosa family (Mimosoideae)
Tribe : Acacias
Scientific name

The acacias (Acacieae) are a tribe in the subfamily Mimosa plants (Mimosoideae) within the plant family of legumes (Fabaceae). The approximately 1400 species are widespread from the subtropics to the tropics of the New and Old World, about 950 of which are found in Australia .

Confusion of names like acacia and mimosa

The species of the tribe Acacieae are called acacias , i.e. the species of the genera Acacia , Acaciella , Mariosousa , Senegalia and Vachellia .

In the vernacular, the name "acacia" is often transferred to the black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia ), which it resembles in terms of its pinnate leaves and thorns. The tribe Acacieae and the genus Robinia are not closely related to each other, they belong to different subfamilies of the Fabaceae . The acacia honey offered by local beekeepers is also honey from black locust / false acacia, as acacias only thrive in exceptional cases in the Central European climate.

Species of the Acacieae tribe, which are often planted as ornamental trees in warmer regions, are often called "mimosas" there. One of the best-known mimosa plants is the mimosa ( Mimosa pudica ), a short-lived subshrub that grows in tropical climates with the characteristic mobile paired, sessile leaflets and pink-colored, head-shaped inflorescences.

Description and ecology

Branch with stipule thorns (therefore one pair each) and phyllodes of the kangaroo thorn ( Acacia paradoxa )
Branches with leaves, differently shaped Phyllodien of: Illustration Acacia alata var. Platyptera , B Acacia lineata , C verticillata Acacia , D kangaroo mandrel ( Acacia paradoxa ), E Acacia truncata , F Acacia spectabilis
Illustration of Acacia longifolia
Seeds with Arillus the gold acacia ( Acacia pycnantha )


They are rarely trees , mostly shrubs . Some species have thorns . Acacia species are hardwoods . The roots of acacia species form a symbiosis with nodule bacteria ( Rhizobium spec.) , With the help of which they make air nitrogen available to plants.

Leaves and stipules

They rarely shed their leaves in the dry season, mostly they are evergreen. Many acacia species have heterophyllia . Young specimens often have deciduous leaves with a normal petiole and double-pinnate leaf blade. Then there is sometimes a transitional stage in which the petiole is already flattened, but there is still a more or less large pinnate leaf blade. Usually, at least in fully grown specimens, the petiole is flattened and takes on the photosynthesis function; Leaf blades are absent. This form of leaf growth is known as phyllodium . The shape of the phyllodes varies. Phyllodes are in most of the Acacia s. st. present, on the other hand the leaves of most of Acacia s. l. outsourced species mostly fully developed double-pinnate leaf blades also on grown specimens.

There are two stipules which fall off early or are persistent; mostly they are small, scale-shaped or transformed into thorns.

Inflorescences and flowers

At the ends of the branches are, on either side in bundle inflorescences or individually on inflorescence shafts or sitting, spherical, capped , cylindrical eared or racemose inflorescences , in which many flowers are usually tightly packed together. Each flower stands over a small, brownish, spatula or shield-shaped, nailed wrapper.

The relatively small flowers are radial symmetry , four or five-fold and mostly hermaphroditic with a double flower envelope . The color of the flowers ranges from deep yellow to creamy white, rarely red. The four or five sepals and petals can be free or fused. The many stamens arising below or just above the base of the carpel protrude above the bracts . The carpel is hairy or bald or downy. There are many ovules . The thin stylus protrudes over the stamens. The flowers often give off a strong scent and produce plenty of pollen, which attracts bees .

Fruits and seeds

The legumes are linear to oblong, straight to curved or screwy, round or flattened in cross-section. The seeds are elongated, almost spherical or flattened egg-shaped and have an aril . The seeds are usually viable for a long time, and some require fire to germinate.

Illustration by W.Miller from Acacia verticillata
Illustration: branches with inflorescences and legumes, flowers in detail from Acacia tetragonophylla


The genus name Acacia was first published in 1754 by Philip Miller in The Gardeners Dictionary Abridged , 4th edition . The generic name Acacia is derived from the Greek word akakia for the Arabic rubber acacia ( Acacia nilotica , now a synonym for Vachellia nilotica (L.) PJHHurter & Mabb. ), Which is derived from ake or akis for sharp point or thorn, akazo for sharpen derives. Synonyms for Acacia Mill. Are: Acaciopsis Britton & Rose , Bahamia Britton & Rose , Delaportea Thorel ex Gagnep. , Fishlockia Britton & Rose , Manganaroa Speg. , Myrmecodendron Britton & Rose , Nimiria Prain ex Craib , Poponax Raf. , Racosperma Mart. , Siderocarpos Small , Tauroceras Britton & Rose .

The genus Acacia belongs to the tribe Acacieae in the subfamily of the Mimosoideae within the family of the Fabaceae .

The genus Acacia has historically been divided into three sub-genera and sections since Pedley 1978:

  • Subgenus Acacia
  • Subgenus Aculeiferum Vassal with the sections:
    • Section Spiciflorae DC.
    • Filicinae section
  • Subgenus Phyllodineae with the sections:
    • Section Alatae F.Muell.
    • Section Botrycephalae (Benth.) Deaf.
    • Section Juliflorae F.Muell.
    • Section Lycopodiifoliae Pedley
    • Section Phyllodineae DC.
    • Section Plurinerves F.Muell.
    • Section Pulchellae (Benth.) Deaf.

From the genus Acacia s. l. (then 1350 to 1450 species) around 400 species were separated into smaller genera; so the above old subdivision of the genus is no longer relevant. The former subgenus Acacia and Aculeiferum are no longer applicable . Their species were assigned to the new genera.

In 2003, at the meeting of the Nomenclature Section of the XVII International Botanical Congress in Vienna, Orchard and Maslin identified Acacia penninervis Sieber ex DC as a new type species . who have favourited Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile replaced, proposed and in The official report of the Spermatophyta Committee, with detailed discussion of the reasons for their decision. In: Taxon. Vol. 53, No. 3, August 1, 2004, pp. 826-829, this has been in effect since July 30, 2005. This was done so that nearly 950 Australian species remain in the genus Acacia .

Branch with phyllodes and head-shaped inflorescences of Acacia acanthoclada
Phyllodes and head-shaped inflorescences of Acacia heterophylla
Branch with phyllodes and cylindrical inflorescences of Acacia longifolia
Branch with phyllodes and head-shaped inflorescences of Acacia podalyriifolia
Open legumes with seeds of Acacia salicina
Habit and articulated legumes of Acacia stenophylla
Bi-pinnate leaves and inflorescences of Acacia trachyphloia
Branch with head-shaped inflorescences of Acacia ulicifolia

The new genera are:

  • Acacia ( Acacia Mill. S. Str.): Even after almost 400 species have been spun off, it is one of the most species-rich genera of the Fabaceae family. Today it contains about 948 species mainly in Australia, seven on Pacific islands, one or two in Madagascar and ten in tropical Asia. Today it is divided into six sub-genera:
    • Alatae
    • Botrycephalae
    • Juliflorae
    • Lycopodiifoliae
    • Phyllodinae
    • Plurinerves
    • Pulchellae

Some species classified in the new genera:

  • Acaciella Britton & Rose (formerly Acacia subg. Aculeiferum sect. Filicinae ): The approximately 15 species are common in the Neotropic.
  • Mariosousa Seigler & Ebinger : The approximately 13 species are common in the Neotropic.
  • Senegalia Raf. (formerly Acacia subg. Aculeiferum ): It is pantropical with 203 species; for example:
    • Gerber acacia , Katechu ( Senegalia catechu (L. f.) P. J. H. Hurter & Mabb. , Syn .: Acacia catechu (L. f.) Willd. )
    • Senegalia roemeriana (Scheele) Britton & Rose , Syn .: Acacia roemeriana Scheele
  • Vachellia Wight & Arn. (formerly Acacia subg. Acacia , Syn .: Acaciopsis Britton & Rose , Bahamia Britton & Rose , Fishlockia Britton & Rose , Myrmecodendron Britton & Rose , Poponax Raf. , Tauroceras Britton & Rose ): It is pantropically distributed with 163 species; for example:
    • Vachellia abyssinica (Hochst. Ex Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia abyssinica Hochst. Ex Benth. )
    • Vachellia amythethophylla (Steud. Ex A.Rich.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia amythethophylla Steud. Ex A.Rich. , Acacia macrothyrsa Harms )
    • Vachellia arenaria (Schinz) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia arenaria Schinz )
    • Vachellia aroma (Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia aroma Gillies ex Hook. & Arn. , Acacia huarango Ruiz ex JFMacbr. , Acacia moniliformis Griseb. )
    • Vachellia astringens (Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.) Speg. (Syn .: Acacia atramentaria Benth. )
    • Vachellia bidwillii (Benth.) Kodela (Syn .: Acacia bidwillii Benth. )
    • Vachellia bilimekii (JFMacbr.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia bilimekii J.F.Macbr. )
    • Vachellia borleae (Burtt Davy) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia borleae Burtt Davy )
    • Vachellia brandegeeana (IMJohnst.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia brandegeeana I.M.Johnst. )
    • Vachellia campeachiana (Mill.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia cochliacantha Humb. & Bonpl. Ex Willd. , Acacia cymbispina Sprague & L. Riley , Mimosa campeachiana Mill. )
    • Vachellia caven (Molina) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia caven (Molina) Molina , Acacia cavenia (Molina) Hook. & Arn. Orth. Var., Mimosa caven Molina )
    • Vachellia choriophylla (Benth.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia choriophylla Benth. )
    • Ball-headed acacia ( Vachellia collinsii (Saff.) Seigler & Ebinger , Syn .: Acacia collinsii Saff. )
    • Vachellia constricta (Benth.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia constricta Benth. )
    • Vachellia cornigera (L.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia campechiana Schenck , Acacia cornigera (L.) Willd. , Acacia spadicigera Schltdl. & Cham. , Mimosa cornigera L. )
    • Vachellia davyi (NEBr.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia davyi N.E.Br. )
    • Vachellia drepanolobium (Harms ex Y.Sjöstedt) PJHHurter (Syn .: Acacia drepanolobium Harms ex Y.Sjöstedt )
    • Vachellia elatior (Brenan) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia elatior Brenan )
    • Camel thorn ( Vachellia erioloba ) (E.Mey.) PJHHurter (Syn .: Acacia erioloba E.Mey. )
    • Vachellia etbaica (Schweinf.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia etbaica Schweinf. )
    • Vachellia exuvialis ( I. Verd .) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia exuvialis I.Verd. )
    • Sweet acacia ( Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Wight & Arn. , Syn .: Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. , Acacia minuta (MEJones) RMBeauch. , Acacia smallii Isely , Mimosa farnesiana L. , Pithecellobium minutum M.E.Jones , Vachellia densiflora Alexander ex Small , Acacia pinetorum F.J. Herm. , Vachellia peninsularis Small )
    • Vachellia flava (Forssk.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia ehrenbergiana Hayne )
    • Vachellia gerrardii (Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia gerrardii Benth. )
    • Vachellia grandicornuta (Gerstner) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia grandicornuta Gerstner )
    • Vachellia gummifera (Willd.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia gummifera Willd. )
    • Vachellia haematoxylon (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia haematoxylon Willd. )
    • Vachellia hebeclada (DC.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia hebeclada DC. , Acacia stolonifera Burch. )
    • Vachellia hockii (De Wild.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia chariensis A.Chev. , Acacia hockii De Wild. )
    • Terrible acacia ( Vachellia horrida (L.) Kyal. & Boatwr. , Syn .: Acacia horrida (L.) Willd. , Mimosa horrida L. )
    • Vachellia karroo (Hayne) Banfi & Galasso (Syn .: Acacia dekindtiana A.Chev. , Acacia karroo Hayne )
    • Vachellia kirkii (Oliv.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia kirkii Oliv. )
    • Vachellia lahai (Steud. & Hochst. Ex Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia lahai Steud. & Hochst. Ex Benth. )
    • Vachellia lasiopetala (Oliv.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia lasiopetala Oliv. )
    • Vachellia luederitzii (Engl.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia luederitzii Engl. )
    • Vachellia macracantha (Humb. & Bonpl. Ex Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia flexuosa Humb. & Bonpl. Ex Willd., Acacia lutea (Mill.) Britton, Acacia macracantha Humb. & Bonpl. Ex Willd., Acacia macracanthoides Bertero ex DC., Acacia pellacantha Meyen ex Vogel, Mimosa lutea Mill., Poponax macracantha (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Killip, Poponax macracanthoides (Bertero ex DC.) Britton & Rose, Vachellia lutea (Mill.) Speg .)
    • Vachellia nebrownii (Burtt Davy) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia glandulifera Schinz, Acacia nebrownii Burtt Davy)
    • Vachellia negrii (Pic.Serm.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia negrii Pic.Serm.)
    • Arabian rubber acacia or Arabian rubber tree ( Vachellia nilotica (L.) PJHHurter & Mabb. , Syn .: Acacia adansonii Guill. & Perr., Mimosa astringens Schumach., Acacia benthamii Rochebr., Acacia arabica (Lam.) Willd., Acacia nilotica ( L.) Delile, Acacia scorpioides (L.) W.Wight, Acacia vera Willd., Mimosa arabica Lam., Mimosa nilotica L., Mimosa scorpioides L., Acacia subalata Vatke)
    • Vachellia oerfota (Forssk.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia nubica Benth., Acacia oerfota (Forssk.) Schweinf., Mimosa oerfota Forssk.)
    • Vachellia pennatula (Schltdl. & Cham.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia pennatula (Schltdl. & Cham.) Benth.)
    • Vachellia permixta (Burtt Davy) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia permixta Burtt Davy)
    • Vachellia prasinata (Asfaw) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia prasinata Asfaw)
    • Vachellia reficiens (Wawra) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia reficiens Wawra)
    • Vachellia rehmanniana (Schinz) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia rehmanniana Schinz)
    • Vachellia rigidula (Benth.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia rigidula Benth.)
    • Vachellia robusta (Burch.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia robusta Burch., Acacia clavigera E. Mey.)
    • Vachellia schaffneri (S.Watson) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia schaffneri (S.Watson) FJHerm.)
    • Vachellia schottii (Torr.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia schottii Torr.)
    • Vachellia seyal (Delile) PJHHurter (Syn .: Acacia seyal Delile, Acacia fistula Schweinf., Acacia stenocarpa Hochst. Ex A.Rich.)
    • Vachellia sieberiana (DC.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia sieberiana DC., Acacia verugera Schweinf., Acacia vermoesenii De Wild., Acacia woodii Burtt Davy)
    • Vachellia sphaerocephala (Schltdl. & Cham.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia sphaerocephala Schltdl. & Cham.)
    • Vachellia stuhlmanii (Taub.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia stuhlmanii Taub.)
    • Vachellia sutherlandii (F.Muell.) Kodela (Syn .: Acacia sutherlandii (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Albizia sutherlandii F.Muell.)
    • Vachellia swazica (Burtt Davy) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia swazica Burtt Davy)
    • Vachellia tenuispina (I.Verd.) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia tenuispina I.Verd.)
    • Vachellia tortilis (Forssk.) Galasso & Banfi (Syn .: Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Mimosa tortilis Forssk., Acacia heteracantha Burch., Acacia litakunensis Burch., Acacia raddiana Savi, Acacia spirocarpa Hochst. Ex A.Rich.)
    • Vachellia tortuosa (L.) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia tortuosa (L.) Willd., Mimosa tortuosa L.)
    • Vachellia vernicosa (Britton & Rose) Seigler & Ebinger (Syn .: Acacia neovernicosa Isely, Acacia vernicosa Standl., Acaciopsis vernicosa Britton & Rose)
    • Yellow-bark acacia ( Vachellia xanthophloea (Benth.) PJHHurter , Syn .: Acacia xanthophloea Benth.)
    • Vachellia zanzibarica (S.Moore) Kyal. & Boatwr. (Syn .: Acacia zanzibarica (S.Moore) Taub.)
  • The approximately 950 species of the genus Acacia s. st. see there .


Of some species, such as Acacia spirorbis which is wood used. So z. B. the ark of acacia wood existed ( Ex 25.10  EU ). In Germany, the wood is occasionally black locust (also Acacia or false acacia known) called acacia wood.

The seeds of some species can be used as pseudograins .

Some species are used as ornamental plants .

The Arabian gum acacia ( Acacia nilotica , now a synonym for Vachellia nilotica ) is used as a toothbrush in Southeast Africa and India.

Acacia fibers are used in the food industry.

The acacia is also the symbol tree of the Freemasons.


Historical literature

Web links

Commons : Acacieae  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Manfred A. Fischer , Wolfgang Adler, Karl Oswald (arrangement): Exkursionsflora for Austria, Liechtenstein and South Tyrol . 2nd Edition. Upper Austrian State Museums, Linz 2005, ISBN 3-85474-140-5 , p. 548 : "... Genus Acacia (real acacia) ...: flowering branches in our flower trade under the false name 'Mimosa'."
  2. ^ Philip Miller: The Gardeners Dictionary , 4th edition, 1754 at Google Books Online.
  3. Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet : Acacia .
  4. ^ A b c Acacia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  5. a b WorldWideWattle
  6. ^ A b B. R. Maslin, JT Miller, DS Seigler: Overview of the generic status of Acacia (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). In: Australian Systematic Botany. Vol. 16, No. 1, 2003, pp. 1-18. doi : 10.1071 / SB02008
  7. ^ A b R. K. Brummitt: Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 55. Proposal 1584 on Acacia. In: Taxon. Vol. 53, No. 3, 2004, pp. 826-829.
  8. ^ A b David S. Seigler, John E. Ebinger, Joseph T. Miller: Mariosousa, a New Segregate Genus from Acacia s. l. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae) from Central and North America. In: Novon. Vol. 16, No. 3, 2006 pp. 413-420. doi : 10.3417 / 1055-3177 (2006) 16 [413: MANSGF] 2.0.CO; 2
  9. ^ The name Acacia retained for Australian species from the Center for Plant Biodiversity Research - CPBR (engl.)
  10. a b B. Kyalangalilwa, JS Boatwright: Phylogenetic position and revised classification of Acacia s. l. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) in Africa, including new combinations in Vachellia and Senegalia. In: Bot. J. Linn. Soc. , Vol. 172, 2013, pp. 500-523.
  11. ^ DS Seigler, JE Ebinger: New combinations in the genus Vachellia (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) from the New World. In: Phytologia. Vol. 87, 2006, pp. 139-178.