Tag Archives: Acacia decurrens

Acacia decurrens

Botanical Name: Acacia decurrens
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. decurrens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

 Synonyms:  Mimosa decurrens.

Common Names: Acacia bark, Early black wattle, Green wattle, Sydney wattle, Wattle bark, Tan wattle, Golden teak, or Brazilian teak

Habitat : Acacia decurrens is native to eastern New South Wales, including Sydney, the Greater Blue Mountains Area, the Hunter Region, and south west to the Australian Capital Territory
It grows naturally in woodlands and dry sclerophyll forests in New South Wales, with associated trees such as Eucalyptus punctata and E. crebra. In areas where it has become naturalised, Sydney green wattle (Acacia decurrens) is generally found on roadsides, along creeklines and in waste areas. It also grows in disturbed sites nearby bushlands and open woodlands.

Despite its invasive nature, it has not been declared a noxious weed by any state or Australian government body
Description:
Acacia decurrens is a fast-growing tree, reaching anywhere from 2 to 15 m (7-50 ft) high. The bark is brown to dark grey colour and smooth to deeply fissured longitudinally with conspicuous intermodal flange marks. The branchlets have longitudinal ridges running along them that are unique to the species.   Young foliage tips are yellow. .

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Alternately arranged leaves with dark green on both side. Stipules are either small or none. Base of petiole swollen to form the pulvinus. Leaf blade is bipinnate. Rachis is 20-120mm long, angular and hairless. 15-45 pairs of widely spaced small leaflets (pinnules) are connected each other and 5-15 mm long by 0.4-1 mm wide, straight, parallel sided, pointed tip, tapering base, shiny and hairless or rarely sparsely hairy leaves.

The small yellow or golden-yellow flowers are very cottony in appearance and are densely attached to the stems in each head with 5-7 mm long and 60-110 mm long axillary raceme or terminal panicle. They are bisexual and fragrant. The flowers have five petals and sepals and numerous conspicuous stamens. Ovary is superior and has only one carpel with numerous ovules.

Flowering is followed by the seed pods, which are ripe over November to January.

Dark brown or reddish brown to black colour of the seed are located inside of parallel sided, flattish, smooth pod. They are 20-105 mm long by 4-8.5 mm wide with edges. Seed opens by two valves. Pods are initially hairy but they become hairless when they grow.

Cultivation  &  propagation :
Acacia decurrens adapts easily to cultivation and grows very quickly. It can be used as a shelter or specimen tree in large gardens and parks. The tree can look imposing when in flower.Cultivation of A. decurrens can be started by soaking the seeds in warm water and sowing them outdoors. The seeds keep their ability to germinate for many years.

Fieldwork conducted in the Southern Highlands found that the presence of bipinnate wattles (either as understory or tree) was related to reduced numbers of noisy miners, an aggressive species of bird that drives off small birds from gardens and bushland, and hence recommended the use of these plants in establishing green corridors and revegetation projects.

Edible Uses:
The flowers are edible and are used in fritters. An edible gum oozing from the tree’s trunk can be used as a lesser-quality substitute for gum arabic, for example in the production of fruit jelly.
Flowers – cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. A gum that exudes naturally from the trunk is edible and is used as a substitute for Gum Arabic in making jellies etc. It is insoluble in water and is of low quality. Larger quantities can be obtained by tapping the trunk. Some species produce a gum that is dark and is liable to be astringent and distasteful, but others produce a light gum and this is sweet and pleasant. It can be sucked like candy or soaked in water to make a jelly. The gum can be warmed when it becomes soft and chewable .

Constituents: Acacia Bark contains from 24 to 42 per cent. of tannin and also gallic acid. Its powerful astringency causes it to be extensively employed in tanning.

Medicinal Uses:
Strongly astringent, babul is used to contract and toughen mucous membranes throughout the body in much the same way as witch hazel or oak bark does. Babul may be made into a variety of preparations: for instance, a lotion for bleeding gums, a gargle for sore throats, a wash for eczema, an eyewash for conjunctivitis and other eye problems, and a douche for excessive vaginal discharge. The herb is taken internally to treat diarrhea, mainly in the form of a decoction. In Ayurvedic medicine, babul is considered a remedy that is helpful for treating premature ejaculation. .
Other Uses:
Uses for it include chemical products, environmental management, and wood. The bark contains about 37-40% tannin. The flowers are used to produce yellow dye, and the seed pods are used to produce green dye. An organic chemical compound called kaempferol gives the flowers of Acacia decurrens their color. It has been grown for firewood, or as a fast-growing windbreak or shelter tree. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion.
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion. Often grown as a screen in Australia.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_decurrens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/acaci003.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acacia+decurrens

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Dipteryx odorata

Botanical Name : Dipteryx odorata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Dipteryx
Species: D. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Tonka Bean. Coumarouna odorata.

Common Name: Tonquin Bean, “cumaru” or “kumaru

Habitat: Dipteryx odorata is native to Central America and northern South America.It is a forest tree.
Description:
Dipteryx odorata is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Orinoco region of northern South America. Its seeds are known as Tonka Beans. They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth brown interior. Their fragrance is reminiscent of vanilla, almonds, cinnamon, and cloves. The tree itself grows up to 25–30 meters, with a trunk of up to one meter in diameter. The tree bark is smooth and gray, whereas the wood is red. The tree has alternate pinnate leaves with three to six leaflets, leathery, glossy and dark green, and pink flowers. Each developed fruit contains one seed. D. odorata is pollinated by insects. The worst pests are the bats because they eat the pulpy flesh of the fruit. A few known fungi may cause problems: Anthostomella abdita, Diatrype ruficarnis, Macrophoma calvuligera and Myiocopron cubense.

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-The odour of coumarin, which distinguishes the Tonka Bean, is found in many plants, especially in Melilotus, sweet vernal grass, and related grasses.

One pound of the beans has yielded 108 grains of coumarin, which is the anhydride of coumaric acid. In addition to its use in perfurnery as a fixative, coumarin is used to flavour castor-oil and to disguise the odour of iodoform.

The fatty substance of the beans is sold in Holland as Tonquin butter.

Cultivation:
Today, the main producers of tonka beans are Venezuela and Nigeria. The cumaru tree is an emergent plant, and a light-demanding calcifuge tree which grows on poor, well drained soils. The best growth is reached on fertile soils rich in humus. In the native region there is a mean annual temperature of 25°C and about 2000 mm rainfall per year with a dry season from June to November. In general, it has a very low plant density, but depending on the agricultural use, the density and the age of the trees diversify. In seed production systems, the plant density is higher and the trees are older than in timber production systems. The tree flowers from March to May, and the fruits ripen from June to July. So, the fresh fruits are picked up in June and July, and fallen pods are harvested from January to March or sometimes earlier. The hard outer shell is removed and the beans are spread out for 2–3 days to dry, after which they can be sold. The major producer is Venezuela, followed by Brazil and Colombia. The most important importing country is the United States, where it is used especially in the tobacco industry

Part Used: Seeds.

Constituents: The tonka seed contains coumarin, a chemical isolate from this plant, which also gave the name to it. The seeds contain about 1 to 3% of coumarin, rarely it can achieve 10%. Coumarin is responsible for the pleasant odor of the seeds and is used in the perfume industry. Coumarin is bitter to the taste, however, and, in large infused doses, it may cause hemorrhage and liver damage, as well as it can paralyze the heart. It is therefore controlled as a food additive by many governments. Like a number of other plants, the tonka bean plant probably produces coumarin as a defense chemical. Radio-carbon dating of D. odorata stumps left by a large logging operation near Manaus by Niro Higuchi, Jeffrey Chambers, and Joshua Schimel, showed that it was one of around 100 species which definitely live to over 1,000 years. Until their research, it had been assumed unlikely that any Amazonian tree could live to old age due to the conditions of the rain forest.

Medicinal Uses:
Aromatic, cardiac, tonic, narcotic. The fluid extract has been used with advantage in whooping cough, but it paralyses the heart if used in large doses.

Herbal and Mythological Properties:
In the Pagan and Occult communities the Tonka Bean is considered to have magical properties and uses. One who practices magical arts believe that by crushing a Tonka Bean and steeping it in an herbal brew or tea it will help cure ailments of depression, disorientation, confusion, and suicidal behavior, as well as boosting the immune system.

It is also believed by some practitioners of various occult traditions that Tonka Beans can grant or help one’ fulfill desires and wishes by using the bean in a variety of methods. Such methods include holding the bean in your hand while whispering your wish or desire then carrying it with you until your wish or desire is fulfilled, then burying the bean afterwards; another common method is by making your wish with the bean in your hand then stomping on it afterwards. Other methods include making your wish then planting it in fertile earth, when and as the plant grows so does your wish so become fulfilled.

Other Uses:
Tonka Beans had been used as a vanilla substitute, as a perfume, and in tobacco before being banned in some countries. They are used in some French cuisine (particularly, in desserts and stews) and in perfumes. Today, main producers of the seeds are Venezuela and Nigeria.

Its use in food is banned in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Many anticoagulant prescription drugs, such as warfarin, are based on 4-hydroxycoumarin, a chemical derivative of coumarin initially isolated from this bean. Coumarin itself, however, does not have anticoagulant properties.

The beans were formerly also spelled “Tonquin” and “Tonkin”, although it has no connection with Tonkin, now part of Vietnam.

Soap companies, like Lush, are using Tonka as part of a vanilla smelling soap product. Thorntons has produced a variety of milk chocolate made with tonka-infused cocoa butter, winning the Academy of Chocolate’s Silver Award in 2009.[5]

Tonquin is still used today to flavor some pipe tobaccos like Dunhill Royal Yacht and Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake.

Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Teak, is an increasingly popular hardwood used for flooring in the US. It has a very appealing natural color variation and is considered quite durable as it has a 3540 rating on the Janka Hardness Scale.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipteryx_odorata
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/tonqbe24.html
http://www.theplantencyclopedia.org/wiki/Dipteryx_odorata