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Acacia erioloba

   (Family: Fabaceae)
Afrikaans: kameeldoring English: camel thorn  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Tree No.: 168
Height: 2 - 16m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: neutral
Flowering time EDIT
              x x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly scented
  Flower info
  Bright yellow ball-like flowers.
  Leaf info EDIT
Fruit size Length: 130mm   Width: 50mm
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruit is variable and ranges from small and almost cylindrical to typically large, flat, thick, semicircular or half-moon-shaped pods. They are up to 130 mm long and 50 mm wide and are covered by velvety grey hairs. They are semi-woody, but spongy inside; the pods do not open even when ripe but fall to the ground in winter. Seeds are thick, robust and lens-shaped.
Description EDIT
Ranges from a 2 m spiny shrub to a 16 m robust tree.
The stem is shiny reddish brown when young. The bark of a mature tree is grey to blackish brown and is deeply furrowed; bearing pairs of almost straight, whitish or brown spines.

Bears bright yellow ball-like flowers that are sweetly scented.
Growing EDIT
Grows well in poor soils and in harsh environmental conditions.
Distribution EDIT
This species is widely distributed inland, from the Northern Cape through to Limpopo Province. It also extends to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and to central Africa.
History EDIT
It is an ideal shrub/tree for a small or large garden.

The pods are useful fodder for cattle and are favoured by wild animals in Africa , especially elephants who chew the pods and disperse the seed in their dung. The timber is strong and is highly prized for firewood.

Dry powdered pods can be used to treat ear infections. The gum can be used for the treatment of gonorrhoea and the pulverized, burned bark can be used to treat headaches. The root can be used to treat toothache. To treat tuberculosis, the root is boiled for a few minutes and the infusion is swirled around in the mouth and spat out.

It is believed that lightning will strike at the Acacia erioloba more readily than other trees. The seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee; the gum is also eaten by humans as well as animals. The root bark is used by the Bushmen to make quivers. Many wild animals love to eat the pods and will rest in the dense shade, in the heat of the African sun.
Ecology EDIT
The camel thorn is a competitive species that can displace preferred vegetation.
It has been assessed as potentially very highly invasive in Australia.
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