Monday 23 July 2012
I have just found this photo of an Acacia tree I saw when on holiday in a game park in South Africa up on the Botswana border. The plant is Acacia tortillis, the Umbrella Thorn Acacia. The photograph clearly shows the long white thorns of this very tough tree.
To quote Wkipedia:
"Acacia tortillis grows up to 21 m (69 ft) in height. Flowers are small and white, highly aromatic, and occur in tight clusters. Seeds are produced in pods which are flat and coiled into a springlike structure. The plant is known to tolerate high alkalinity, drought, high temperatures, sandy & stony soils.
Timber from the tree is used for furniture, wagon wheels, fence posts, cages, and pens. The pods and foliage, which grow prolifically on the tree, are used as fodder for desert grazing animals. The bark is often used as a string medium in Tanganyika, and is a source for tannin. Gum from the tree is edible and can be used as Gum Arabic. Parts of the tree including roots, shoots, and pods are also often used by natives for a vast number of purposes including decorations, weapons, tools, and medicines.
The Acacia tortilis is also emerging as an important species in the battle to 'green the deserts', as it is one of few trees to tolerate very harsh, arid environments."