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Acacia karroo

   (Family: Fabaceae)
Afrikaans: Soetdoring English: Sweet thorn Xhosa: umnga  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Height: 15m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: neutral
Flowering time EDIT
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly scented
  Many insects
  Flower info
  Minute flowers are borne in attractive golden-yellow, ball-shaped heads.
Leaf margin
Leaf type
Bark / Stem type    Has thorns / Spines
Leaf size 05mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are divided into about 5 pairs of leaflets, and each is again divided into 10 or more pairs of smaller leaflets of about 5mm long.
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruit is a long, narrow, spirally twisted pod.
Description EDIT
This tree varies from a multi-stemmed shrub to a tree of up to 15m in height.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
This is perhaps the most widely distributed of all South African trees and can be found in practically all parts of South Africa.
History EDIT
The bark and leaves are a Cape remedy for diarrhoea and dysentry.
The gum, bark and leaves have also been used as an emollient and astringent for colds, conjunctivitis and haemorrhage.
The gum is used as a food and is also taken for oral thrush.

The gum, known commercially as Cape gum, was once exported from the Cape and Namibia.

Due to its high tannin content, the bark was used in olden days for tanning. It is said to give leather a redddish colour, but disagreeable odour.
Ecology EDIT
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  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, (2005), Medicinal Plants of South Africa ,Briza Publications  


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