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What is Acacia Nilotica and Its Usage

Updated on April 12, 2011

The Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. Delilah is a former plant family Mimosaceae (Fabaceae or according to the classification APG), widespread in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent.It's a herbal plant




From the wide may appear as a shrub canopy (subspecies A. No Subala, A. leiocarpa No, No adstringens A., and A. A. No hemispherica No kraussiana) or as a real tree, can reach 15-20 m in height (ssp. n. A. nilotica, A. tomentosa and A. No means No)


The foliage is dense, flat or hemispherical shape, and the branches have thorns up to 5 cm long.


The leaves are bipinnate, consisting of 12-30 pairs of leaflets, glabrous or pubescent, up to 7 mm long and 0,5-1,5 mm wide.


The flowers are deep yellow, feathery flower heads meeting of 6-15 mm in diameter.


The fruits are indehiscent pods and plates, in color from gray to brown, variable in shape in different subspecies, containing from 6 to 16 seeds.


During the dry season tend to lose their leaves, although the subspecies fluviatile can behave as evergreens.


Distribution And Habitat

The species grows wild in many African countries (Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen) and the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka).

It was introduced by humans in many other countries including Australia (where it is considered an invasive species), Cape Verde, Zanzibar, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Among some African subspecies (A. n. Subala, A. and A. leiocarpa No No adstringens) prefer a sandy or dry soils and low rainfall savannas, while others (A. nilotica and A. No No tomentosa) are often close to rivers or in areas subject to seasonal flooding. A. No kraussiana grows on arid soils, which is close to watercourses

Among the Asian subspecies A. No indica and A. No cupressiformis give birth to low elevation dry forests, preferring alkaline soils while A. No hemispherica only grows on sandy soils near some sandy soils near streams Karchi

A. Nile has spread from sea level up to 2000 m above sea level. Withstands high temperatures (up to 50 ° C)


There are nine recognized subspecies, three are in the Indian subcontinent and Africa

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Adstringens

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Cupressiformis

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Hemispherica

· Acacia nilotica subsp. İndicates

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Kraussiana

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Leiocarpa

· Acacia nilotica subsp. nilotica

· Acacia nilotica subsp. Subala

· Acacia nilotica subsp. tomentosa


Its bark is removed from a gummy exudation known as gum arabic.

It has anti-diarrheal and softening properties, and is used in folk medicine of various peoples of Africa and Asia as a natural remedy against dysentery or for the treatment of skin lesions, sores and ulcers.

The wood is very strong and durable and is used to build houses or for fuel.

It is a species that can colonize the alkaline soils and its ability to nitrogen fixation has been used extensively in India for the recovery of vast areas of degraded



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    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for this information.