Acacia, in botany, Egyptian thorn; according to LinnAEUs, is a species of mimosa, growing in Egypt. It is also to be found in North America, and is there called the locust-tree. Its culture is not difficult. It delights more in a dry, sandy, and elevated soil, but may be raised in any, either from seeds or slips. Its uses are various; as it is applied both to domestic and medicinal purposes.
An inspissated juice of its fruit, of a dark colour and firm consist-ence, has been brought to us from Egypt: when dissolved, it is used in any convenient liquor for relieving spittings of blood, complaints of the eyes, and quinsies
The flowers of the acacia are used by the Chinese in making that beautiful yellow with which they stain their silks and stuffs, and colour their paper, in the following manner : take half a pound of these flowers before they are fully blown, and roast them over a clear and gentle fire in a very clean copper pan, continually stirring them with a brisk motion; when they begin to turn yellow, pour on a little water, and let it boil till it become thick, and acquire a deeper colour; then strain the whole through a piece of coarse silk. To the liquor thus expressed, add half an ounce of alum, and one ounce of calcined and finely-powdered oyster-shells: when the whole is well mixed, it will be fit for use.
The origin of the bezoar has been attributed to the seeds of this plant, which being browsed by certain animals, have, by their great acidity and astringent qualities, caused a condensation of the juices of the stomach, and .produced this celebrated concrete.
The acacia, or locust-tree of North America, has been applied to parts of ship-building ; and several gentleman in the State of
Thus, as it grows remarkably fast, it not only becomes less firm and tenacious, but is very apt to split, and lose large branches: it may not, therefore, be so well adapted to the various purposes of building as those American trees, which are of a slower growth, and cultivated in a poorer soil, where they have sufficient time to arrive at maturity.