Acacia also known as a thorntree, whistling thorn or wattle, is a genus of
shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae,
first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many
non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian
acacias are not. They are pod-bearing, with sap and leaves typically bearing
large amounts of tannins and condensed tannins that historically in many species
found use as pharmaceuticals and preservatives.
The leaves of acacias are compound pinnate in general. In some species, however, more especially in the Australian and Pacific islands species, the leaflets are suppressed, and the leaf-stalks (petioles) become vertically flattened, and serve the purpose of leaves.
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