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Acacia holosericea - A.Cunn. ex G.Don

Common Name Strap wattle, Candelabra wattle
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The plant (probably the seeds[K]) has been used as a fish poison[713].
Habitats Gravelly sand or loam, commonly forming communities along watercourses[286]. Usually grows in open forest but sometimes found in monsoon forest and vine thickets, at elevations up to 900 metres[713].
Range Australia - Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Acacia holosericea Strap wattle, Candelabra wattle

Mark Marathon
Acacia holosericea Strap wattle, Candelabra wattle
John Tann wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Acacia holosericea is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects, Birds.
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. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Acacia mangium holosericea (A.Cunn. ex G.Don) C.T.WhiteRacosperma holosericeum (A.Cunn. ex G.Don) Pedley


Edible Uses

Seeds - cooked[303 ]. Although edible, the seeds contain toxic substances and need to be carefully prepared in order to destroy these substances[303 ]. They are traditionally made into a flour[303 ]. The seeds have an unpleasant odour whilst being prepared[303 ].

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 phyllodes, bark and pods are used traditionally for the treatment of pruritic skin conditions, headache and tropical infection[286 ].

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Due to its large dense crown, this species is used to form the lower part of a multistorey windbreak in conjunction with Eucalyptus camaldulensis[303 ]. The plant grows fast, has a dense crown, fixes atmospheric nitrogen and has vigorous colonizing characteristics. These make it ideal for the revegetation and restoration of degraded mining sites and also the fixation of sand dunes[303 ]. Other Uses The wood is hard with a high density[303 ]. The wood is an excellent fuel that can readily be converted to charcoal[303 , 418 ]. The calorific value of the wood is estimated at 4,670 kcal/kg and the charcoal 7,536 kcal/kg[303 ]. Nice foliage. Possible feature plant. Suitable hedge or screen plant. Attractive fruit. Suitable for tropical areas.

Cultivation details

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

A plant of the drier, seasonal tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 750 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 32c, but can tolerate 12 - 45c[418 ]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -1c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 1,200mm, but tolerates 250 - 1,600mm[418 ]. Requires a sunny position[418 ]. Dislikes heavier soils[418 ]. Succeeds in soils of low fertility[418 ]. Prefers a well-drained soil, but tolerant of dry conditions and seasonal inundation of the soil[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.5 - 8.5[418 ]. The early and abundant seeding of this plant has the potential of making it a weed. Seed dispersal is prompted by propulsion from drying dehiscent pods. Browsing vertebrates sometimes also play a role in seed dispersal[305 ]. Early rapid growth makes this tree a highly productive fuelwood source. Trees 4 years old can yield up to 13 tonnes per hectare[303 ]. The tree can be lopped or pollarded, but generally does not respond well to coppicing[303 ]. 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 ].


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Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and benefits from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve 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. Seeds can store for 14 years at room temperature with only 11% loss of viability[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Keo la-sim, Keo to, Silky wattle, Silver-leaved wattle, Soap Bush, Velvet wattle

Found In

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

Asia, Australia*, Burkina Faso, India, Indochina, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, Senegal, Sudan, Vietnam, 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.

The early and abundant seeding of this plant has the potential of making it a weed.

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 auriculiformisEar-Pod Wattle, Black Acacia, Earleaf, Black wattle10
Acacia concinnaShikakai, Soap-Pod21
Acacia coriaceaWiry Wattle, Acacia, Leather Leaf30
Acacia cultriformisKnife-Leaf Wattle, Knife acacia20
Acacia dealbataMimosa, Silver wattle20
Acacia decurrensGreen Wattle21
Acacia farnesianaSweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache22
Acacia koaKoa Acacia00
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 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
Faidherbia albidaWhite Acacia. White-thorn. Apple ring acacia12
Robinia pseudoacaciaBlack Locust, Yellow Locust32


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Expert comment


A.Cunn. ex G.Don

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.

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