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Acacia caffra

   (Family: Fabaceae)
   
Afrikaans: Gewone haakdoring, Katdoring English: Common hook-thorn, Cat thorn N. Sotho: Motholo Tsonga: Mbvhinya-xihloka Tswana: Morutlhare Zulu: umTholo  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Height: 14m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
pH: neutral
 
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Cream
Flower type
 
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly scented
  Flower info
  The flower spikes are creamy white.
 
 
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Deciduous
 
 
 
Fruit colour
Brown
 
  Seed info EDIT
  Narrow, straight, brown seeds pods
 
 
Description EDIT
Tree with spreading crown, growing up to 14m high.
Bears spikes of creamy white, sweetly scented flowers.
Growing EDIT
Acacia caffra is frost and drought resistant and has a growth rate of about 700mm - 900mm per year.

Responds well to pruning.

Avoid planting near paving or buildings as it reportedly has an aggressive root system.

It grows easily from seed. The seeds need hot water treatment before they will germinate. Simply pour hot water over them and allow to cool. You will see if this has worked as the seeds will begin to swell as they absorb water. Do not leave them in the water for longer than 24 hours or they will start to deteriorate. It is best to sow directly into black bags as the taproot is long and is sensitive to transplanting.
Distribution EDIT
Acacia caffra occurs naturally in a wide variety of habitats from coastal scrub to bushveld and highveld grasslands. The distribution appears to be slightly patchy with the species occurring in the four northern provinces; the coastal areas of Kwazulu Natal and the Eastern Cape and in some areas of the Western Cape.
History EDIT
The name Acacia is derived from "akis " meaning a point or barb and caffra was a epiphet frequently bestowed on plants from the eastern parts of South Africa in previous centuries. The word caffra in Hebrew means "person living on the land".
Uses EDIT
The wood is dense and hard and beautifully grained.
The foliage enjoyed by game and stock.

The common hook-thorn is used traditionally for many purposes such as fencing posts, tanning and the beautiful rootwood is highly valued by Xhosa women for tobacco pipes.

It is also used medicinally and is considered a lucky tree in traditional African beliefs.
Ecology EDIT
The Acacia caffra is able to withstand fire, which is important in areas such as grasslands and savannas where fire forms an integral part of the ecology.
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