Acacia macracantha: Everything you need to know about this tree

The acacia macracantha is a type of acacia in which its leaves last almost all year. This plant belongs to the Fabaceae family and in turn to the Magnoliopsida class of plants. This plant is native to the American continent, being found in Mexico and spreading to some Argentine regions. The name acacia derives from the Greek word akakia or ακις which means thorns and the adjective macracantha which is defined as a large flower, so its name could be something similar to a large flower with thorns.

Characteristics of the acacia macracantha

acacia macracanthaThe acacia macracantha is considered a tree since it can be between 4 meters and 6 meters high, this plant is surrounded by many long thorns very different from those of the acacia greggi They look like cat claws. It has a strong, upright and compact trunk, greyish in color with dark brown tones, its green leaves are made up of several pairs of smaller leaves which are dark greenish in color and protected by these thorns that are very thick at the base and end becoming pointed when reaching the end, they form part of its large foliage that can measure a diameter of around 12 meters.

This tree flowers yellow and small in size that are located in the shape of a head at the end of each branch, from these are born some small legumes that are shaped like pods that measure between 3 and 4 cm long with a curved shape, where these at just as its flowering is carried out in rainy seasons.

Distribution and habitat of the acacia macracantha

The acacia macracantha is native to South American countries such as Ecuador and also to Peru, its distribution extends through regions to the southeast of the United States and to the end of South America towards the south. They can be seen living in different regions such as coastal areas, ravines, valleys, fields, mountain valleys, in urbanized towns and in places separated from it.acacia macracantha

Medicinal uses and toxicity of Acacia macracantha

acacia macracanthaThe acacia macracantha, as well as many of the species that make up the genus of acacias, have a high toxic content in some of their parts, such as its grayish and smooth bark, its leaves composed of many smaller leaves and its seeds, which contain dimethyltryptamine that taken orally can cause hallucinations and studies reveal that it could produce experiences similar to death, in the case of cyanogenic glycosides it is a type of defense produced by this plant and in humans it can cause respiratory pain, headaches and dizziness, diarrhea, muscle pain, mental confusion and even seizures. But if it is used correctly, it can find good medicinal uses, as is the case of its spines, which in homeopathic medicine are traditionally used to soothe sore gums and therefore pain in the teeth and molars.

Everyday uses of acacia macracantha

acacia macracanthaThe acacia macracantha is a very important tree in several countries and cities, such as Ica, which together with other trees such as the Huarango, have been used as an ornament to make vegetable fences, its leaves have been used as a food supplement for the Livestock and their trunks have been used to make firewood, to replace previous woodwork, in parks as natural ornaments, and bees produce honey from the pollen of their flowers. Its leaves are a natural fertilizer, its large foliage produces shade and its fruits are a source of food for some animals.

In ancient times, this fruit was used to make flour, a food similar to bread, and a kind of fermented drink. The wood extracted from the acacia macracantha was used to build types of houses and methods of transportation as well as to make tombs.

Cultivation and care of the acacia macracantha

The reproduction of the acacia macracantha is done naturally through its seeds through cuttings taking parts of an original tree and planting it in another place. If you want to do it manually, you should help a little with the scarification of the seeds, but it does not need specific care or constant watering, since under very humid conditions it can die. It only needs to maintain its foliage by pruning to round out its shape, but when it reaches adulthood, it tends to fall to the ground. It should be located in forests of valleys close to coasts and in warm temperatures that do not exceed 25º C or in temperatures lower than 12º C.

Despite being a tree that is resistant to dry climates, it does not fully support frozen climates, so it should not be located at altitudes higher than 3,000 meters above sea level. Its growth is very fast, reaching up to a meter and a half in height in just half a year.

Care and cultivation of the acacia macracantha in bonsai:

Acacia macracantha: Everything you need to know about this tree

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