The Acacia confusa, commonly known as the Formosan koa tree or the Philippine acacia, is a small tree that's best known for its spherical yellow flower blossoms, which create a vivid canopy over many regions of its native Southeast Asia. Most commonly, Acacia confusa plants, harvested for their wood and tannins, lend themselves to industrial or decorative uses, though these tough trees also serve as windbreakers in some regions.
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Acacia confusa plants grow as upright trees or shrubs, reaching heights of around 20 to 50 feet. At maturity, their thorny trunks span about 3 feet in diameter. These plants sport brown, grey or greyish brown branches that feature slim branchlets. Rough, veined green leaves grow about 4 inches long. The small, bright yellow flower blossoms of the Acacia confusa have a globelike shape. Each flower measures about 1 inch wide, and they often grow in clumps or clusters. These flowers emit a sweet fragrance.
These slender trees prefers moist, humid pastures and forests, though they tolerate some dry areas. Acacia confusa plants thrive at elevations up to 3,000 feet and have the ability to resist strong winds. Though commonly cultivated in regions as diverse as China, southern Japan, Micronesia, Hawaii and Taiwan, Acacia confusa plants grows natively in the northern Philippines.
Hardy Acacia confusia trees are evergreen. When planted, these Acacia trees tend to eliminate nearby groundcover, giving them a bad reputation as an invasive pest. As such, it is dangerous to grow these plants in non-native regions. The Philippine acacia propagates via germination of its seeds, though green fingers and foresters can reproduce the tree from cuttings. After fires, the seeds of the Formosan koa propagate rapidly and extensively.
Though seeds of the Acacia confusa are poisonous if ingested, the Department of Forestry at the National Taiwan University reports that extracts from the bark and heartwood of the Acacia confusa have strong antioxidant properties. Like other Acacia plants, Phillip pine acacias contain the psychedelic chemical dimethyltryptamine, commonly dubbed DMT.
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