Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Often a medium to large spreading tree, remaining green throughout most of the dry season. Bark rough, dark and fissured; young branches distinctly zigzag. Thorns paired at the nodes, whitish, straight and stout, often swollen at the base. Leaves bipinnate with 2-5 pairs of pinnae; leaflets somewhat blue-green. Glands are present on the rhachis but not on the petiole. Flowers in spherical golden-yellow heads. Pods woody, distinctly kidney or crescent shaped, covered in grey velvet, greatly relished by both game and lifestock.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Ecology

Population Biology

Frequency

Locally common
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acacia erioloba

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Vachellia erioloba

Plants of the genus Alhagi are also sometimes called camelthorns or camel thorns

Vachellia erioloba (camel thorn, giraffe thorn, Afrikaans: Kameeldoring, Tswana: Mogôtlhô, Sotho: Mogohlo)[2] is a southern African legume.[3] Its preferred habitat is the deep dry sandy soils of the Transvaal, western Free State, northern Cape Province, Botswana, and the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia. The tree was first described by Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Meyer and Johann Franz Drège in 1836.[4]

The tree can grow up to 17 metres high and is commonly found in Namibia. Its name refers to the fact that giraffe (kameelperd in Afrikaans) and camels commonly graze on the harder-to-reach succulent leaves normally out of reach of smaller animals. Giraffe in particular are partial to all vachellias and manifest a specially-adapted tongue and lips that can cope with the vicious thorns. It also grows ear-shaped pods, which are favoured by a large number of herbivores including cattle. The wood is dark reddish-brown in colour and extremely dense and strong. It is slow-growing, very hardy to drought and fairly frost-resistant.

The wood is a good fuel for fires, which leads to widespread clearing of dead trees and the felling of healthy trees. According to superstition, lightning will strike at V. erioloba more often than other trees.[5] The camel thorn's seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee beans.[5] The camel thorn is a protected tree in South Africa.[2]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kyalangalilwa B, Boatwright JS, Daru BH, Maurin O, van der Bank M. (2013). "Phylogenetic position and revised classification of Acacia s.l. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) in Africa, including new combinations in Vachellia and Senegalia.". Bot J Linn Soc 172 (4): 500–523. doi:10.1111/boj.12047. 
  2. ^ a b "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ The type specimen of Acacia giraffae, proved on closer examination to be a hybrid of V. haematoxylon and the species which would later become known as V. erioloba. The name V. erioloba was therefore proposed for the vast numbers of camel thorn which are not hybrids.
  4. ^ USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network entry for Vachellia erioloba (as Acacia erioloba)
  5. ^ a b Mhloniswa Dlamini; Walter Sisulu (2005). "Acacia erioloba". PlantzAfrica. South African National Biodiversity Institute. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
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