Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

A small slender tree with flattened crown. Bark greenish, covered with greenish-yellow or orange-red, powdery meal; young branches are covered with brown glands. Leaves with 3–6 pairs of pinnae, each carrying 10–16 pairs of leaflets.Flowers bright yellow with strong spicy smell in a capitate inflorescence. Fruit is a linear dehiscent pod.

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Distribution

Distribution in Egypt

Nile Valley North of Nubia (Location: Aswan).

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Global Distribution

Egypt, Sudan, Tropical East Africa, Southern Arabia.

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Physical Description

Size

Height: 6-12 m.

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Ecology

Habitat

Nile Banks and Islands.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Perennial.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Acacia seyal

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acacia seyal

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Vachellia seyal

Vachellia seyal, the Red acacia, known also as the shittah tree (the source of shittim wood), is a thorny, 6–10 m (20–30 ft) high tree with a pale greenish or reddish bark. At the base of the 3–10 cm (1–4 in) feathery leaves there are two straight, light grey thorns, growing to 7–20 cm (3–8 in) long. The blossoms are displayed in round, bright yellow clusters approximately in 1.5 cm (0.5 in) diameter.

In Vachellia seyal var. fistula, which is more common on heavy clay soils, some of the thorns are swollen and house symbiotic ants.[4]

It is distributed from Egypt to Kenya and west Senegal. In the Sahara, it often grows in damp valleys.

Uses[edit]

Gum arabic[edit]

Vachellia seyal is, along with other vachellias, an important source for gum arabic, a natural polysaccharide, that exudes from damaged stems and solidifies.[5]

Tanning[edit]

Parts of the tree have a tannin content of up to 18-20%. The bark and seed pods of Vachellia seyal var. seyal have a tannin content of about 20%.[2]

Wood[edit]

Wood from the tree is said to have been used in Ancient Egypt to make coffins and also the Ark of the Covenant.[6]

Medicinal uses[edit]

Bark[edit]

The bark is used to treat dysentery and bacterial infections of the skin, such as leprosy. The bark is also used as a stimulant.[5]

Gum[edit]

The gum is used as an aphrodisiac, to treat diarrhoea, as an emollient, to treat hemorrhaging, inflammation of the eye, intestinal ailments and rhinitis. The gum is used to ward off arthritis and bronchitis.[5]

Wood[edit]

Incense from the wood is used to treat pain from rheumatism and to keep expectant mothers from contracting rhinitis and fevers.[5]

Hybrids[edit]

Vachellia seyal occasionally hybridizes with V. xanthophloea.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ILDIS
  2. ^ a b FAO
  3. ^ ILDIS LegumeWeb
  4. ^ Young, T.P.; Cynthia H. Stubblefield; Lynne A. Isbell (December 1996). "Ants on swollen-thorn acacias: species coexistence in a simple system". Oecologia 109 (1): 98–107. doi:10.1007/s004420050063. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d Purdue University
  6. ^ Vachellia seyal (as Acacia seyal) in BoDD – Botanical Dermatology Database
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