Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Acacia colei - Maslin & M.A.J. Thomson

Common Name Cole's wattle, Candelabra Wattle, Soap 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 Acacia-dominated scrubs and tall open shrubland, often developing dense, nearly monotypic populations along dry, stony or sandy drainage lines in disturbed sites such as road verges, gravel pits and burnt areas, growing in a variety of soil types[286]. It occurs in Australia in red sands. It is a tropical plant.
Range Australia - Western Australia, Northern Territory, 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 colei Cole


Mark Marathon wikimedia.org
Acacia colei Cole
Mark Marathon wikimedia.org

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Acacia colei is a SHRUB growing to 4 m (13ft) by 3 m (9ft) 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 holosericea auct. non G.Don: Misapplied

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Seeds. Seed - cooked[1294 ]. 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 ]. Traditionally, the dry seed was ground to a coarse flour, mixed with water and either eaten as a paste or baked to form a 'cake'[1300 ]. The seedpods are openly and strongly curved, 50 - 100mm long and 3.5 - 4mm wide, with very dark, brown to black, oblong seeds 4 - 4.5mm 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, 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].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Acacia colei is a colonising species, forming dense regrowth populations in disturbed sites, including roadsides and burnt-over areas[286 ]. The plant can be used as a pioneer for restoring native woodland or establishing woodland gardens[K ]. It has been planted as a windbreak around fields and along roadsides. Its bushy habit to ground level and heavy fall of large slowly decomposing phyllodes enhance its value for sand stabilisation[1300 ]. It has given very satisfactory results when planted as the lower part of windbreaks with Eucalyptus camaldulensis[1300 ]. The plant has a shallow, wide-spreading root system that competes heavily with nearby crops and can reduce their yields[1294 ]. On sandy soils in semi-arid zones, the plant may be used in a wide alley cropping system (about 20 metres between rows) where its benefits as a low windbreak may outweigh its depletion of soil moisture in the crop root zone[1300 ]. Other Uses: A red dye can be obtained from the lipid-rich arils by soaking them in water[1300 ]. The heartwood is dark brown; it is clearly demarcated from the pale sapwood. The wood is hard, dense. It is suitable for the manufacture of small decorative articles, and can be used for light construction[1294 , 1300 ]. The wood is an excellent source of firewood and charcoal. The calorific value of the wood is 4670 kcal/kg and that of the charcoal 7535 kcal/k[1300 ]. 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

A shrub or small tree. Climate: Tropical. Humidity: semi-arid. Seeds can be stored. The seed are highly nutritious having 21% protein, 10% fat and 57% carbohydrate. Plants flower April to July in the southern hemisphere and fruit September to October. Acacia colei is a component of many semi-arid, subtropical to tropical plant communities in northern Australia, where it is found at elevations up to 450 metres[286 , 1300 ]. The mean annual temperature is around 25 - 27°c, rising to around 34 - 40°c in the hot season and falling to 8 - 16°c in the cool season. Light frosts happen occasionally in the most elevated locations. Rainfall is highly erratic, usually ranging from 230 - 725mm[1300 ]. Requires a sunny position. The plant is well-adapted to grow on infertile sandy soils that are not adapted to conventional food crops, and can also grow in claypans[1294 ]. Prefers a circumneutral soil, but can tolerate a pH ranging from 5.5 - 8.5[1300 ]. Established plants are drought tolerant. Acacia colei is a fast-growing but short-lived species, with a life-span of only 3 - 10 years[1294 ]. The plant can produce very heavy seed crops less than two years after planting and might have potential as a new human food in West Africa[1294 ]. They have been tested for toxicity and human trials have indicated that, at levels up to 25% of the diet, no anti-nutritional factors have been observed[1294 ]. Acacia colei has been used as an ornamental in west Africa, Thailand and northern Australia where its silvery foliage, mass flowering and wide adaptability to different soil types are highly valued[1300 ]. The seeds of most acacia species can be quickly and efficiently harvested at full maturity without the need for any specialised equipment, e.g. when a crop is heavy one person can harvest 3-5 kilos of clean seed of Acacia colei or Acacia tumida per hour. Small seed-bearing branches can be cut and beaten on sheets, or bushes can be beaten or shaken directly onto large sheets[1294 ]. In Niger, farmers prefer the curly-podded form (var. ileocarpa) because less seed is lost through shattering prior to harvest. In Australia the curved-podded form is preferred by seed collectors because the seed is more easily and completely dislodged from the pod during beating[1294 ]. Yields of 4 - 6 kilos of seed have been obtained from the plant[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[1300 ]. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: historic wild staple, new crop. Management: standard, coppice.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cole’s wattle, Gurganyan and Gargardu (Yindjibarndi), Gurlganyan (Ngarluma) and Karranyongu (Kurrama)

Found In

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

Africa, Asia, Australia, India, Niger, West Africa

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
Acacia aneuraMulga Acacia30
Acacia angustissimaTimbre. Prairie acacia. Fernleaf Acacia23
Acacia auriculiformisEar-Pod Wattle, Black Acacia, Earleaf, Black wattle10
Acacia catechuCutch tree, Catechu acacia12
Acacia concinnaShikakai, Soap-Pod21
Acacia coriaceaWiry Wattle, Acacia, Leather Leaf30
Acacia cowleanaHall’s Creek wattle32
Acacia cultriformisKnife-Leaf Wattle, Knife acacia20
Acacia dealbataMimosa, Silver wattle20
Acacia decurrensGreen Wattle21
Acacia farnesianaSweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache22
Acacia holosericeaStrap wattle, Candelabra wattle12
Acacia koaKoa Acacia00
Acacia koaiaKoai'a01
Acacia leucophloeaKuteera-Gum, White-barked acacia.21
Acacia longifoliaSydney Golden Wattle, Acacia30
Acacia mearnsiiBlack Wattle, Late black wattle13
Acacia melanoxylonBlackwood, Australia Acacia, Black Acacia, Blackwood Acacia21
Acacia mucronataNarrow-Leaf Wattle20
Acacia murrayanaMurray’s wattle, Colony wattle32
Acacia paradoxaKangaroo Thorn, Paradox acacia10
Acacia podalyriifoliaQueensland Silver Wattle, Pearl wattle10
Acacia pycnanthaGolden Wattle20
Acacia retinodesSwamp Wattle, Water wattle20
Acacia salignaBlue-Leaved Wattle, Orange wattle10
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, Acacia20
Acacia verticillataPrickly Moses10
Acacia victoriaeBramble wattle. Gundabluey, Bardi bush30
Arracacia xanthorrhizaArracacha40
12

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Maslin & M.A.J. Thomson

Botanical References

Links / References

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.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Acacia colei  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.