Bush Tucker Articles

Velvet Wattle

Acacia holosericea. Family Fabaceae

Acacia holosericea

Jan Sked

Trials have been conducted in Africa by Australian aid agencies that have shown that the seeds ofAcacia holosericeaare a very nutritious and popular food. They have a high protein content - 17-25%. It is hoped to use the plant widely in revegetation schemes.

The seeds were roasted, boiled like lentils, or steamed with vegetables. Children particularly liked the nutty flavour of the roasted seeds.

Acacia holosericeais an upright shrub, 3 to 4 metres in height. It makes an attractive foliage plant with its large, silvery-grey, velvety phyllodes, which are delightfully soft to caress, like puppies' ears. It has bright yellow flower spikes, about 5cm long, all along the branches in winter. These are followed by bunches of coiled, tangled pods.

It grows naturally in northern parts of Australia and is found along watercourses and in open forests. It is quick growing, but not very long-lived. Propagation is from scarified seed.

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