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Acacia colei (Soap or Cole’s Wattle)

Also known as Soap or Cole’s Wattle or Soap Bush this open shrub can grow up to 5 m tall. Its long yellow flowers appear June-July. Tradionally the sticky and unripe pods were crushed up, moistened and rubbed between palms to produce a soap-like lather which removes dirt and was used to clean hands. The pods are long and narrow and begin to curl when green. Later they become a tangled cluster when dry and dark brown. The black seeds have a bright yellow tip where they attach to the pod like tiny beans which makes it easy to see them on the ground.

Tradionally Kimberley Aboriginal people have been known to roast the green seeds within the pods, while the ripe seeds were ground to a flower for making damper.

Acacia colei is a widespread species of tropical Australia, occuring in WA, NT and Queensland.


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