Acacia elatior

Common name   River acaia
Hebrew name   שיטת אלטיור
Family Fabaceae
Petals No petals
Leaf form Pinnate
Leaf margin Entire
Habitat Forest
צורת הגבעול Round
Life form Tree
Distribution in Israel Shefela, Northern Negev,
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Flowering months


River acaia
© Photo: Pablo Chercasky   , 5-2009
© All rights reserved.

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Additional information

Acacia elatior is a tall, evergreen, riverine tree, 7-40 m tall; crown rounded or flattish; bark brown, deeply fissured; stipular spines of 2 kinds in pairs at the nodes - shorter, 7 mm, brown, sometimes, curved spines, alternating with longer spines, which may reach 9 cm and are straight, white, with a swollen base; the larger spines are sometimes inflated to about 6 (max. 15) mm across; trunk is large, and young twigs are reddish-brown.
Leaves with 5-13 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in (min. 7) 13-25 pairs, 1.2-4 x 0.5-1.4 mm, small and narrow, glabrous or ciliate; petiole 3-10 mm; petiole and rachis glands absent.
Flowers in round heads, white to very pale yellow. Fruits are brown to purplish-brown pods, straight or slightly falcate, narrowly oblong, 3.5-12 x 1.2-1.8 cm, tapering at the tip, papery texture, dehiscent; seeds olive-brown, subcircular, 6-7 mm in diameter, thin, flattened.
Acacia elatior grows in the arid and semi-arid areas of Uganda, Sudan and Kenya at non-saline habitats, at altitude: 180-1100 m, and mean annual rainfall: 500-1200 m. It occurs on sandy river banks often in association with Acacia tortilis.
Acacia elatior is used in its native countries for various purposes; Fodder: pods and young shoots are browsed by livestock. Fuel: produces good firewood and charcoal. Timber: The Turkana of Kenya use the wood to make drinking vessels. Medicine: In Kenya a bark decoction is used to treat diarrhoea and gonorrhoea and as a remedy for coughs.

Written by Amram Eshel


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