Today we are going to talk to you about the great tree itself, the Australian Mulga! It is an incredible plant. It is beautiful and has helped Australians from the beginning thanks to its healing capability’s. Not only all that but it has the most mind blowing adaptations. Enjoy the presentation!
What is a Mulga?
Mulgas are native plants and are part of the Acacia family. They grow around one meter per year and they can grow up to 10 meters tall, 25cm wide and can age over 240 years old. Not only that but the sap that spits out of them after a sap sucking insect gets on them is actually very sweet, this was discovered by the Aboriginals and the early settlers who called it bush lolly.
Where do Mulgas grow?
They grow in 20% of the continent, in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern territory. They can usually be found in hot and dry places like deserts, such as the Australian Outback and the Great Sandy Desert. They usually grow of soils like red sands, red harpan soil, red earths, red duplex soils and calcareous soils, and they have adapted really well to their environment and its arid conditions.
The Australian Mulga has some very amazing adaptations that help it survive in the hot, dry and arid conditions where it grows. It has many adaptations such as:
. The roots can go so deep it sucks up the water from deep wet soil.
. An arrangement of their phyllodes and branches gets water channelled to the roots and stem.
. Their leaves grow upward to funnel water to the roots.
. Acacias like the mulga have bacteria associated with its roots that converts atmospheric nitrogen to forms that can be used by the mulga.
. Since mulga phyllodes have a smaller surface area they reduce the amount of water lost to the atmosphere.
. Phyllodes also lower surface area to volume ratio that reduces the amount of heat compared to the standard flat leaves.
. The shortness of their phyllodes make water gathering more efficient.
. Their crown shape maximises the channelling of water.
. They gather water in a spot in the soil around their stems and it’s so deep that the water can’t evaporate.
How do mulgas help people?
Mulgas have been very super helpful to mankind from the aboriginals to today. Different parts of the tree have been used for many different things. One of these things was making tools, the wood from the tree is a very good substance for tool making. They make lots of things from mulga wood tools, hammers, spears and even some tent supporters. They also provide them with shade shelter and food, in fact the mulga was one of the aboriginals’ main plant food sources. Also the mulga has healing capabilities, the aboriginals used lots of different parts of the tree to heal different things, for example: Boiled mulga twigs can be used to cure colds and flues when rubbed on, headaches can be cured by smocking Phyllodes and twigs until they are soft and scorching and then placed of the aching area.
What are its behaviours?
Like most plants they don’t have as many behaviours as animals but they do have some behaviours. One of which is absolutely unbelievable. Everyone knows that all living things needs water to grow, so when there is very little water in its desert environment, it stops growing! The tree can stop growing and it just stays the same, that way they don’t use much water to help it grow and it can use it for other things, and when the rain starts again it can start growing again because it does not need to store water so much.
So over all the Australian mulga is a truly incredible tree, complete with unmeasurable beauty, mind blowing behaviours astounding adaptations and are very helpful to mankind. Thanks for reading about the great AUSTRALIAN MULGA TREE!!!
Native: Living in the environment when someone was born or something’s was made
Aboriginals: The first Australians before white people came.
Maximises: makes bigger
Arid: Dry, hot and harsh
Phyllodes: Leaf stems that have thickened to do the job of leaves
Channelled: Guided to somewhere.
Bacteria: Small organisms that help the thing they are in stay healthy.
Atmospheric nitrogen: An element that radiates out of the atmosphere and can help living things.
Behaviours: Things that the plant, human or animal does.
Evaporate: What water does when it gets hot: turn into a gas and floats up into the atmosphere.
Phyllodes: 2, 3
Atmospheric nitrogen: 2