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Acacia cowleana - Tate

Common Name Hall’s Creek wattle
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The seed of many Acacia species, including this one, is edible and highly nutritious, and can be eaten safely as a fairly major part of the diet. Not all species are edible, however, and some can contain moderate levels of toxins[1295 ]. Especially when harvesting from the wild, especial care should be taken to ensure correct identification of any plants harvested for food[K ]. Especially in times of drought, many Acacia species can concentrate high levels of the toxin Hydrogen cyanide in their foliage, making them dangerous for herbivores to eat.
Habitats Usually occurs on sandy or stony soils. It suits warm semi arid regions. It can stand long periods of drought. It grows in Northern Australia. It cannot tolerate fire. It cannot tolerate frost. It can grow in arid places. Grows mainly along the banks of seasonal creeks[286].
Range Australia - northern Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, northern New South Wales
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Acacia cowleana Hall’s Creek wattle


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Acacia cowleana Hall’s Creek wattle
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Acacia cowleana is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Acacia oligophleba Pedley Racosperma cowleanum (Tata) Pedley Racosperma oligophlebum (Pedley) Pedley

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Seeds. Seed - cooked[397 , 418 ]. It can be eaten in the same ways as other small legume seeds and is also ground into a powder then used as a flavouring in desserts or as a nutritious supplement to pastries and breads[1295 ]. The pods are up to 75mm long and 3.5 - 5mm wide, with dark brown to black, more or less oblong seed around 3.5 - 5mm long[286 , 1300 ]. Acacia seeds are highly nutritious and contain around 26% protein, 26% available carbohydrate, 32% fibre and 9% fat. The fat content is higher than most legumes with the aril providing the bulk of fatty acids present. These fatty acids are largely unsaturated. The energy content is high in all species tested, averaging 1480 ±270 kJ per 100g. The seeds are low glycaemic index foods - the starch is digested and absorbed very slowly, producing a small, but sustained rise in blood glucose and so delaying the onset of exhaustion in prolonged exercise[1295 ]. Carbon Farming - Staple Crop: protein.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The bark of all Acacia species contains greater or lesser quantities of tannins and are astringent. Astringents are often used medicinally - taken internally, for example. they are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, and can also be helpful in cases of internal bleeding. Applied externally, often as a wash, they are used to treat wounds and other skin problems, haemorrhoids, perspiring feet, some eye problems, as a mouth wash etc[601 , K ]. Many Acacia trees also yield greater or lesser quantities of a gum from the trunk and stems. This is sometimes taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and haemorrhoids[601 ].

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Acacia cowleana is a fast growing, short-lived species often used in seed-mixes for mine site rehabilitation. It has the ability to regenerate from basal coppice, however, it more commonly regenerates from seed (especially following disturbance)[1298 ]. Other Uses: The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[418 ]. Carbon Farming - Agroforestry Services: nitrogen, windbreak. Other Systems: FMAFS.

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Agroforestry Services: Windbreak  Historic Wild Staple  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  New Crop  Other Systems: FMAFS  Staple Crop: Protein

Climate: Tropical. Humidity: arid to semi-arid. Acacia cowleana is a plant of the arid to semi-arid zone of subtropical and tropical Australia, where it is found at elevations up to 650 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 35°c, but can tolerate 12 - 45°c[418 ]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -2°c, but young growth is more tender can be severely damaged at 0°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 250 - 400mm, but tolerates 200 - 500mm[418 ]. Requires a sunny position. Prefers a well-drained soil, though plants can tolerate seasonal inundation of the soil[418 ]. Grows best in light to medium-textured soils, and is tolerant of low fertility[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 4.5 - 8[418 ]. Acacia cowleana is not widely grown but should be a reliable shrub for temperate to arid climates in reasonably well drained soils. It has been successfully cultivated in California[397 ]. A fast-growing but fairly short-lived species with a life span of 5 - 12 years[418 ]. The seeds of most acacia species can be quickly and efficiently harvested at full maturity without the need for any specialised equipment. Small seed-bearing branches can be cut and beaten on sheets, or bushes can be beaten or shaken directly onto large sheets[1294 ]. Closely related to and previously confused with the tetraploid species Acacia elachantha[286 ]. This species has been rarely cultivated compared to its close relative Acacia elachantha . This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[1300 ]. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: historic wild staple, new crop. Management: standard, coppice.

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Propagation

Seed - requires pre-treatment to break down the hard coat[303 ]. Pouring a small amount of boiling water over the seeds (which cools down quickly and so does not cook the seed), and then leaving to soak for 12 hours is usually effective, as is making a small incision in the coat to allow water to penetrate. Germination levels of 40 - 80% take place in 6 - 15 days[303 ]. Treated seeds are sown in germination beds, and seedlings are transplanted into polythene bags when they reach the 2-leaf-pair stage. Seeds can also be sown straight into polythene bags. Young seedlings should initially be kept at 50% sunlight, but this can be increased to 70% once they have been established. In general, 3 - 4 months are needed to raise seedlings to a plantable size, 25 cm in height[303 ]. Seeds stored in airtight containers at room temperature retain their viability for several years[303 ]. Cuttings may succeed but the success rate may be well below 100%[397 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Halls Creek Wattle

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Australia, Burkina Faso, East Africa, Kenya, Southern Africa, West Africa, Zimbabwe

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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Acacia catechuCutch tree, Catechu acacia12
Acacia coleiCole's wattle, Candelabra Wattle, Soap wattle, 32
Acacia concinnaShikakai, Soap-Pod21
Acacia coriaceaWiry Wattle, Acacia, Leather Leaf30
Acacia cultriformisKnife-Leaf Wattle, Knife acacia20
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Acacia koaKoa Acacia00
Acacia koaiaKoai'a01
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Acacia longifoliaSydney Golden Wattle, Acacia30
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Acacia paradoxaKangaroo Thorn, Paradox acacia10
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Acacia salignaBlue-Leaved Wattle, Orange wattle10
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, Acacia20
Acacia verticillataPrickly Moses10
Acacia victoriaeBramble wattle. Gundabluey, Bardi bush30
Arracacia xanthorrhizaArracacha40
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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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