Acacia holosericea

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Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
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Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links
A. holosericea, seedlings in nursery.
© David Boshier
A. holosericea, line plantings on Fogo, Cape Verde Islands.
© David Boshier
Acacia holosericea phyllodes
© Chris Gardiner

Local names:
English (candelabra wattle)

Acacia holosericea attains an average height of less than 8 m, with numerous branches beginning from the base, giving it a multi-stemmed appearance. The bark is smooth and green in the young plant.

Phyllodes measure 10-25 x 1.5-10 cm, are thick, with 3-5 longitudinal veins. 

Flowers small, bright yellow, cattail-like spikes, 3-6 cm long.

Pods narrow, coiled, 3-6 x by 2.5-5 cm, in dense clusters; contain small, oval, slightly flattened, shiny, black seeds measuring 2 x 3-5 mm.

The generic name acacia comes from the Greek word ‘akis’, meaning a point or a barb.
The species name is derived from the Greek 'holo' (entire/whole) and the Latin 'sericeus' (silky, with long straight close-pressed glossy hairs), in reference to the indumentum of the plant.


The early and abundant seeding of A. holosericea has the potential of making it a weed.

Native range

Tree management

Lopping and pollarding are recommended. Generally A. holosericea does not coppice well.

Seed storage behaviour is orthodox; 11% viability lost after 14 years storage at room temperature. There are 100 000-175 000 seeds/kg. Seed pretreatment with boiling water for 1 minute is necessary to break dormancy and enhance germination.

The early and abundant seeding of A. holosericea has the potential of making it a weed.

Natural vegetation from self-seeding occurs freely in the native habitat of A. holosericea. Planting seedlings in polythene bags is the most reliable method of artificial propagation. For successful germination, boiling water should be poured over the seeds, after which they are soaked for 24 hours.

Grows fast, has a dense crown, fixes nitrogen and has vigorous colonizing characteristics. These make it ideal for revegetation and restoration of degraded mining sites and fixation of sand dunes.

  Seeds are edible, but consumption is limited by chances of toxicity, the labour-intensive procedure of preparating them for making flour, and their unpleasant odour.

Large quantities of phyllode biomass, produced during the dry season when other acacias shed their leaves, is a valuable fodder source. However, fodder should be dried before it is fed to livestock, as fresh phyllodes are not palatable for cattle and sheep, and there are reports from Niger of goats dying after consuming them. Crude proteins and digestibility are low, due to their high concentrations of tannins, which limit the availability of the protein component. Trees 4 years old have reportedly produced about 3 t/ha of dry phyllodes.

The wood, an excellent fuel that can readily be converted to charcoal, is hard with high density (ca. 870 kg/cubic meter). The calorific value of wood is estimated at 4670 kcal/kg and of charcoal 7536 kcal/kg. Early rapid growth makes A. holosericea a highly productive fuelwood source. Trees 4 years old can yield up to 13 t/ha.

Shade or shelter:  Due to its large dense crown, A. holosericea is used to form the lower part of a multistorey windbreak with Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

Ornamental:  A. holosericea is becoming a popular species for planting in towns and for roadside windbreaks. The silvery foliage, early appearance of its yellow flower spikes and prominent twisted pods make it an attractive ornamental shrub. Its relatively short life span of 4-8 years is a limiting factor.