BLUE GUM (BLOEKOM HOUT)

The Tasmanian blue gum, southern blue gum or blue gum, (Eucalyptus globulus) is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30–55 m (98–180 ft) tall. The tallest currently known specimen in Tasmania is 90.7 m (298 ft) tall.[1] There are historical claims of even taller trees, the tallest being 101 m (331 ft).[2] The natural distribution of the species includesTasmania and southern Victoria (particularly the Otway Ranges and southern Gippsland). There are also isolated occurrences on King Islandand Flinders Island in Bass Strait and on the summit of the You Yangs near Geelong. There are naturalised non-native occurrences in Spainand Portugal, Akamas, and other parts of southern Europe, southern Africa, New Zealand, western United States (California), Hawaii andMacaronesia, Caucasus (Western Georgia).[3][4]

The d’Entrecasteaux expedition made immediate use of the species when they discovered it, the timber was used to improve their oared boats.[5] The Tasmanian Blue Gum was proclaimed as the floral emblem of Tasmania on 27 November 1962. The species name is from theLatin globulus, a little button, referring to the shape of the operculum.

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KAMEELDORING

Vachellia erioloba (Camel thornGiraffe thorn, Afrikaans: Kameeldoring, Tswana: Mogôtlhô, Sotho: Mogohlo)[2] is a southern Africanlegume.[3] Its preferred habitat is the deep dry sandy soils of the Transvaal, western Free State, northern Cape Province, Botswana, and the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia. The tree was first described by Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Meyer & Johann Franz Drège in 1836.[4]

The tree can grow up to 17 metres high,And it is commonly found in Namibia. Its name refers to the fact that giraffe (kameelperd in Afrikaans) and camels commonly graze on the harder-to-reach succulent leaves normally out of reach of smaller animals. Giraffe in particular are partial to all vachellias and manifest a specially-adapted tongue and lips that can cope with the vicious thorns. It also grows ear-shaped pods, which are favoured by a large number of herbivores including cattle. The wood is dark reddish-brown in colour and extremely dense and strong. It is slow-growing, very hardy to drought and fairly frost-resistant.

The wood is a good fuel for fires, which leads to widespread clearing of dead trees and the felling of healthy trees. According to superstition,lightning will strike at V. erioloba more readily than other trees.[citation needed]

The camel thorn’s seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee beans.[citation needed] The Camel thorn is a protected tree in South Africa.[2]

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ROOIKRANS

Acacia cyclops, commonly known as red-eyed wattle or western coastal wattle, is a coastal shrub or small tree in the family Fabaceae. Native to Australia, it is distributed along the west coast of Western Australia as far north as Jurien Bay, and along the south coast into South Australia.

It is found in locations exposed to coastal winds, red-eyed wattle grows as a dense, dome shaped shrub; this helps protect against salt spray, sand-blast and erosion of soil at the roots. When sheltered from the wind, it tends to grow as a small tree, up to seven metres high. Like many other Acacia species, red-eyed wattle has phyllodes rather than true leaves. The phyllodes range from four to eight centimetres long, and from six to twelve millimetres wide. Its flower heads are bright yellow spherical clusters. Very few flower heads are produced at a time, but flowering occurs over a long period, from early spring to late summer. This is unusual for Acacia species, which normally flower in one brief but impressive display.

Both the common and species names refer to the appearance of the pods when first open in late spring: each shiny black seed is encircled by a thick orange-red stalk, resembling a bloodshot eye.

Red-eyed wattle can be used to help stabilise coastal sands. It was introduced into Africa for this purpose, but it has spread rapidly and is now a serious pest in southern Africa, where it is known as rooikrans (in Afrikaans, “red garland”) . The introduction of the gall-forming cecidomyiid Dasineura dielsi as a biological control has had limited success in the effective control of this weed.

The green seed pods may be used as a natural soap, by crushing them and using the pods with water to wash with.

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BLACK WATTLE

Acacia mearnsii is a fast-growing, extremely invasive leguminous tree native to Australia. Common names for it include black wattle,Acácia-negra (Portuguese), Australian acaciaAustralische Akazie (German), Swartwattel (Afrikaans), Uwatela (Zulu). This plant is now known as one of the worst invasive species in the world.[2]

Émile Auguste Joseph De Wildeman described the black wattle in 1925.[3] The species is named after American naturalist Edgar Alexander Mearns, who collected the type from a cultivated specimen in East Africa.[4] Along with other bipinnate wattles, it is classified in the sectionBotrycephalae within the subgenus Phyllodineae in the genus Acacia. An analysis of genomic and chloroplast DNA along with morphological characters found that the section is polyphyletic, though the close relationships of many species were unable to be resolved. Acacia mearnsiiappears to be most closely related to A. dealbataA. nanodealbata and A. baileyana.[5]

A. mearnsii is native to South-eastern Australia and Tasmania, but has been introduced to North America, South America, Asia, Europe,Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, Africa, and New Zealand.[6][7][8][9][10]

It has been introduced to numerous parts of the world, and in those areas is often used as a commercial source of tannin or a source of firewood for local communities. In areas where it has been introduced, it is often considered a weed, and is seen as threatening nativehabitats by competing with indigenous vegetation, replacing grass communities, reducing native biodiversity and increasing water loss fromriparian zones. Found in tropical rainforests.

In its native range A. mearnsii is a tree of tall woodland and forests in subtropical and warm temperate regions. In Africa the species grows in disturbed areas, range/grasslands, riparian zones, urban areas, water courses, and mesic habitats at an altitude of between 600-1700m. In Africa it grows in a range of climates including warm temperate dry climates and moist tropical climates. A. mearnsii is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of between 6.6 – 22.8 dm, an annual mean temperature of 14.7 – 27.8 °C, and a pH of 5.0 – 7.2.[11] A. mearnsii does not grow well on very dry and poor soils.[12]

A. mearnsii plays an important role in the ecosystem in its native Australia. As a pioneer plant it quickly binds the erosion-prone soil following the bushfires that are common in its Australian habitats. Like other leguminous plants, it fixes the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil. Other woodland species can rapidly utilise these increased nitrogen levels provided by the nodules of bacteria present in their expansive root systems. Hence they play a critical part in the natural regeneration of Australian bushland after fires.

Acacia mearnsii Seed Pods

  • Consumption and excretion: The seeds are potentially distributed by rodents or birds.[13]
  • For ornamental purposes (local)
  • By animals: The dispersal of the seeds of A . mearnsii is believed to be aided by cattle and birds.[14]
  • By people: Local people collecting branches and logs for firewood may spread seeds.[15]
    • Transportation of soil: The seeds may also be spread by the movement of seed-contaminated soil.[16]
  • By water: The hard-coated seeds are spread readily down water courses.[16]

Mycorrhizal fungi attach to the roots to produce food for marsupial animals, and these animals in turn disperse the spores in their droppings to perpetuates the symbiotic relationship between wattle’s roots and the mycorrhizal fungi.

The cracks and crevices in the wattle’s bark are home for many insects and invertebrates. The rare Tasmanian Hair Streak Butterfly lays her eggs in these cracks, which hatch to produce caterpillar larva attended by ants (Indomyrmex sp.) that feed off the sweet exudates from the larva.

The tree is home to various grubs, such as wood moths, which provide a food source to the Australian Black cockatoos, who strip the bark for access to these borers.

During winter insects, birds and marsupials are hosted by the black wattle with the aid of their supplies of nectar in their leaf axials. These creatures provide an important predatory role to deal with tree die back caused by scarab beetles and pasture pests.

Black wattles, along with gums, native box, native hop form the framework vegetation on so-called “Hill-topping” sites. They are often isolated remnant pockets of native vegetation amongst a lower sea of exotic pasture. These “Hill topping” sites are critical habitat for male butterflies to attract females for mating, which then lay their eggs under the wattle’s bark elsewhere but still within close proximity. It’s the only acceptable mating site in the area for these butterflies.

Black wattle flowers provide very nitrogen rich pollen with no nectar. They attract pollen-feeding birds such as our Wattle Birds, Yellow Throated Honey Eaters and New Holland Honey Eaters. The protein rich nectar in the leaf axials is very sustaining for nurturing the growth of juvenile nestlings and young invertebrates, e.g. ants.

Ants harvest the seed, attracted by the fleshy, oil rich elaiosome (or seed stalk), which they bury and store in widely dispersed locations. These seeds are buried ready for germinating with the next soaking rains. However a “wattle seed-eating insect’ which enjoys liquid meals using its proboscis-like injector to pierce the testa and suck out the embryo often reduces the seeds viability.[17]c

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SEKELBOS

Dichrostachys cinerea, known as sicklebushBell mimosaChinese lantern tree or Kalahari Christmas tree (South Africa), is a legumeof the genus Dichrostachys in the Fabaceae family.[1]

Other common names include acacia Saint Domingue (French), el marabu (Cuba), Kalahari-Weihnachtsbaum (German of former South West Africa), kéké or mimosa clochette (Réunion).

The generic name Dichrostachys means ‘two-colored spike’, referring to its two-colored inflorescence, from the Ancient Greek δί- (di-, ‘twice’),χροός (khroos, ‘color’), and στάχυς (stakhus, ‘ear of grain’). The specific name cinerea refers to the greyish hairs of the typical subspecies, from the Latin cinereus (‘ashes’).

It is native to Africa but has been introduced to India, the Caribbean and parts of Southeast Asia. In Ethiopia, the species is common in theNechisar National Park.[2]

The tree was brought to the Caribbean in the 19th century.[3] In Cuba, where it is known as El Marabú or Marabou weed, it has become a serious invasive species problem, occupying close to five million acres (20,000 km²) of agricultural land. Plans are underway to exploit it as a source of biomass for renewable power generation.[4][5]

Dichrostachys cinerea is a semi-deciduous to deciduous tree characterized by bark on young branches, dark grey-brown fissures on older branches and stems and smooth on the spines. They typically grow up to 7 metres (23 ft) in height and have strong alternate thorns, generally up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long. Flowers of the Dichrostachys cinerea are characteristically in bicoloured cylindrical spikes that resemble Chinese lanterns and are 6–8 cm long and fragrant.[6] Upper flowers of a hanging spike are sterile, and are of a lilac or pale purple. Pods are usually a mustardbrown and are generally twisted or spiralled and may be up to 100 × 15 mm. The species has can be subcategorized with two slight variations that have been recognised: D. cinerea ssp. africana and D. cinerea ssp. nyassana, the latter which is typically larger and less hairy in its foliage.[1]

The species tends to grow in rainforest zones that are clearly defined and in altitudes up to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). It often occurs in areas with a strong seasonal climate with a wide ranging mean annual temperature and with a mean annual rainfall ranging from 200 to 400 mm. It occurs in brushwood, thickets, hedges, teak forest and grassland and generally takes to poorer quality clay soils or deep and sandy soils with a wide ph scale range.[1]

In India, it can occur in dry deciduous forest.

In southern Africa, Dichrostachys cinerea generally flowers from October to February with fruiting from May to September. In Indonesia, however, the species has been found flowering from September to June and fruiting from March to May. The tree generally grows at a

Fruit and seeds that grow on Dichrostachys cinerea are edible. Cattle, camels and game such asgiraffe, buffalo, kudu, hartebeest, nyala, red forest duiker and Damara dik-dik feed on the juicy pods that fall to the ground. Such animals also feed on the immature twigs and leaves of the tree which are rich in protein (11–15%) and minerals. The flowers can be a valuable source of honey. The wood is of a dense nature and burns slowly with no toxicity, so it is often used for fuelwood. The species yields a medium to heavy, durable hardwood and is often used in smaller domestic items as walking sticks, handles, spears and tool handles, particularly in central Africa.

In traditional medicine, the bark is used for headache, toothache, dysentery,elephantiasis[disambiguation needed], root infusions are used for leprosy, syphilis, coughs, as ananthelmintic, purgative and strong diuretic, leaves are used for epilepsy and also as a diuretic andlaxative, and a powdered form is massaged on limbs with bone fractures.[1] The roots are also sometimes used for bites or stings.[citation needed] In Siddha medicine of the Tamils in southern India, Dichrostachys cinerea is called vidathther and used for gonorrhea, syphilis and eczema.[7]

As they are rich in nutrients, the plants are often used as fertiliser, particularly in the Sahel region of Africa along riverbanks.[8] The plant is widely used for soil conservation, particularly in India, for shallow soils, and in arid western and subhumid alluvial plains.

It is also cultivated as an indoor bonsai specimen.[9]

Despite its various uses, it is generally regarded a threat to agricultural production and is listed on the Global Invasive Species Database.[3]