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Acacia murrayana - F.Muell. ex Benth.

Common Name Murray’s wattle, Colony 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 It grows in arid and desert areas in Western Australia. It grows in sandhill country. It requires a sunny position. It needs well drained soil. It can grow in hot places. It can survive fires. It can grow in arid places. A component of woodland and low woodland in the higher rainfall areas, more commonly in tall open-shrubland and hummock grassland in more arid regions, growing in sand on dunes, plains or along streams; at elevations up to 700 metres[1300].
Range Australia - mainly in the central arid belt from Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland
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 murrayana Murray’s wattle, Colony wattle


Mark Marathon wikimedia.org
Acacia murrayana Murray’s wattle, Colony wattle
Mark Marathon wikimedia.org

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Acacia murrayana 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), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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 frumentacea Tate. Acacia leptopetala auct. Racosperma murrayanum (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Pedley

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Seeds, Grub, Gum. Seed - cooked[418, 1292, 1293, 1295]. 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 90mm long, 8 - 12mm wide, with ovate, black seeds 4 - 5.5mm long[286]. 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]. The ground seed can be used to produce a high quality, caffeine-free coffee-like beverage[1295]. The plant possibly produces an edible gum[1292]. 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: The tree can provide low shelter, it can be used as an ornamental and is a pollen source for bees[418]. Other Uses: The wood is of small dimensions, but can be used for posts and small turnery[286]. The wood is highly suitable for fuel, and for making charcoal[1300]. An edible grub occurs in the roots and branches. 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

Acacia murrayana is a plant of arid and semi-arid regions in the warm temperate, subtropical and tropical zones of central Australia, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 12 - 34°c, but can tolerate 5 - 42°c[418]. When dormant, selected provenances of the plant can survive temperatures down to about -10°c, but young growth is more tender and can be severely damaged at -1°c[418]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 200 - 400mm, but tolerates 100 - 500mm[418]. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil[418]. Succeeds in a range of soils from sands to clays and is very tolerant of low fertility[418]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.5 - 8.5[418]. Established plants are drought tolerant[418]. A fast-growing plant when young, but relatively short-lived, usually senescing when around 15 - 25 years old[1300]. The plant recovers well following fire - both by producing a flush of germinating seedlings and also by resprouting from the base[418]. The main flowering period is from August to November with pods maturing several months later, between November and January (Maslin et al. 1998). Plants flower profusely, commencing at an early age and produce heavy pod crops during favourable seasons. 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]. 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[755]. Acacia murrayana, together with Acacia gelasina, Acacia pachyacra, Acacia praelongata and Acacia subrigida comprise the Acacia murrayana group of closely related species. This group of species is not far removed from the Acacia victoriae and Acacia juncifolia groups[286]. Some forms of this species may resemble Acacia dietrichiana[286]. It can be pruned after flowering. It can be pruned after flowering. The edible insect larvae (Bardie grub) is pulled out of the bored holes using a hooked twig. The white gum normally exudes from sites of insect damage. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: historic wild staple, new crop. Management: standard, coppice.

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Propagation

The seed of most, if not all, members of this genus has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Acacia seeds that have matured fully on the bush and have been properly dried have a hard seed coat and can be stored in closed containers without deterioration for 5 - 10 years or more in dry conditions at ambient temperatures. It is best to remove the aril, which attracts weevils and can lead to moulds forming. The arils are easilyremoved by placing the seeds in water and rubbing them between the hands, then drying the seeds and winnowing them[1294].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Colony wattle, Sandplain wattle, Tjuntjula, Utjanypa, Murray’s wattle, fire wattle, powder bark wattle.

Found In

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

Australia

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

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Acacia koaKoa Acacia00
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Acacia salignaBlue-Leaved Wattle, Orange wattle10
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, Acacia20
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Acacia victoriaeBramble wattle. Gundabluey, Bardi bush30
Arracacia xanthorrhizaArracacha40
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F.Muell. ex Benth.

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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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