Acacia tortilis

Life form: Tree

Leaves: Alternate, compound, bipinnate or more

Flowers: Yellow

Flowering Period: April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Habitat: Desert, Thermophilous plants

Distribution: Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts

Chorotype: Sudanian

Summer shedding: Perenating


Uses: The timber is used for fenceposts, firewood, furniture, and wagonwheels. The prolific pods made good fodder for desert grazers and the foliage is also palatable, being one of the major dry season fodder trees for the Sahara-Sahelian belt. Bark, used for string in Tanganyika. Gum used as a poor man's gum arabic, said to be edible. It is the tree most recommended for reclaiming dunes in India and Africa.

The thorny branches are used to erect temporary cages and pens. Bark said to be a good source of tannin. Africans once strung the pods into necklaces. Senegalese use the roots for spear shafts, Lake Chad natives use the stems for fish spears. African nomads often use the flexible roots for frameworks of their temporary shelters. The pods and leaves are high in nutrition and are browsed by game and livestock. Vervet Monkeys and Baboons eat young green pods; other animals eat those, which fall to the ground.

Description: Medium umbrella-shaped tree 4–15 m tall, often with several trunks, reduced to a small wiry shrub less than 1 m tall under extremely arid conditions. Two types of thorns abound (1) long, straight, and white, and (2) small, hooked, and brownish. Leaves up to 2.5 cm long with 4–10 pairs of pinnae, each with ca 15 pairs of minute leaflets. Flowers white, aromatic, in small clusters. Pods flat, glabrose, coiled into a spring-like array.




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