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Useful Tropical Plants

Vachellia erioloba

(E.Mey.) P.Hurter

Fabaceae


Classification of the genus Acacia (in the wider sense) has been subject to considerable debate. It is generally agreed that there are valid reasons for breaking it up into several distinct genera, but there has been disagreement over the way this should be done. As of 2017, it is widely (but not completely) accepted that the section that includes the majority of the Australian species should retain the name Acacia, whilst other sections of the genus should be transferred to other genera. This species is transferred to Vachellia[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Acacia edgeworthii T.Anderson.

Acacia erioloba E.Mey.

Acacia giraffae Willd.

Common Name: Camel Thorn

Vachellia erioloba
Trees growing in native habitat near Potgietersrust, South Africa
Photograph by: Paul venter
Creative Commons License
Vachellia erioloba Vachellia erioloba Vachellia erioloba Vachellia erioloba Vachellia erioloba Vachellia erioloba

General Information

Camel thorn is a large, spreading, spiny, evergreen tree that normally grows about 10 metres tall. In favoured habitats, however, this species can form large spreading trees up to 18 metres high, though in poorer conditions it can be a shrub no more than 2 metres tall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The plant has a wide range of uses including providing an edible gum, being the source of a good quality wood and being used in planting schemes to stabilize sandy soils. A beautiful tree that is suitable for planting in amenity areas, it is often used to provide shade in the desert areas where it grows[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Known Hazards

The prussic acid that is sometimes present in the pods and foliage may poison animals[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

Southern Africa - Angola to Mozambique, south to South Africa.

Habitat

Generally on Kalahari Sand, in dry woodland, wooded grassland, and sometimes in Baikiaea-Acacia forest at elevations of 900 - 1,050 metres[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]. The dominant tree on the desert plains, often occurring in beds or on the banks of rivers[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Camel thorn grows in tropical and subtropical areas at elevations of 200 - 1,200 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Tolerant of some frost, it grows best in areas with a mean annual temperature in the range 12 - 29c and a mean annual rainfall of 250 - 1,000mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Prefers a well-drained, sandy, acidic soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Young plants require large amounts of light[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. A very deep-rooting plant - some plants have been reported with roots descending to a depth of 45 metres in a borehole in SW. Africa[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].
This species is valued throughout its range for its products and services and is rarely the subject of eradication measures[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
This species hybridizes in the wild with Vachellia haematoxylon, and the resulting progeny looks extremely similar to Vachellia erioloba but has glands on the pods typical of Vachellia haematoxylon[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Trees usually flower when about 10 years old, and by 20 years they can produce regular crops of large pods[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Natural and artificial regeneration from seed is poor, even after presowing treatment, but the trees coppice and sucker fairly readily[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Fire causes young trees to coppice[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

A good quality, edible gum is obtained from the stem[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

The roasted seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

Medicinal

The gum obtained from the tree is used as a cure for gonorrhoea[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
].

The bark is burned, crushed and then used for relieving headache[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
].

The pods are ground into a powder to treat ear infections[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
].

The roots are used as a cough remedy and to treat tuberculosis[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
]. The fresh fine roots are chewed to relieve strong pain anywhere in the body, including toothache, or are taken to combat severe diseases[
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
,
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree has a deep, spreading root system and has been planted to help in the stabilization of sand dune and combat soil erosion[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The flowers are a good source of nectar for honeybees[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

Tannins are obtained from the bark[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

A gum, called 'Cape Gum', is obtained from the trunk[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. Of good quality, it is sometimes traded[
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

The roots (the bark is separated from the root) are used as a substitute for reeds to make flutes[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

The dark brown, shiny seeds are a popular element in traditional necklaces[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

The fibrous inner bark can be used to make excellent rope[
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

The dark, red-brown wood is extremely hard, strong and durable with a dark purple heartwood[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
]. It is resistant to borers and termites, and has been used for poles, especially for the centre posts for houses, mine props, wagon building, utensils and even machine bearings (though the machinery needs to be kept well oiled)[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
]. It is used for the construction of enclosures in southern Africa[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree is a source of firewood for much of the arid Kalahari region in southern Africa[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It exudes a characteristic, cinnamon-like smell as it burns[
1296
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta; Medicinal Uses and Nutritional Value
Publication
The Shell Field Guide Series: Part 1
Author
Roodt V.
Publisher
Shell Oil Botswana (Pty) Ltd; Gaborone, Botswana
Year
1998
ISBN
99912-0-241-2
Description
A concise guide to some of the trees and shrubs of Botswana, often giving some of the plant's uses.
].

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing. Scarification can also help to improve germination rates. Germination rates are often poor for this species, but they can be improved by planting seeds (together with the dung) that have passed through the guts of grazing animals[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. This is because bruchid larvae that normally infest seeds are usually killed during their passage through the gut of a herbivore[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is best to sow the seeds singly in containers and transplanted the seedlings as quickly as possible since the taproot develops rapidly[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Seedlings should be planted out when 46 cm or more in height and should be watered for the first few months, after which they become drought resistant[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Seeds retain their viability for many years even at room temperature. Bruchid larvae within the seed continue to be active after the seed has been extracted and stored. The adults or larvae of some species emerge and may even re-enter the exit holes to lay eggs or to produce a 2nd generation of larvae that feed on the seed. Storage at temperatures near freezing point reduces bruchid beetle activity, and subzero temperatures of -20-30 deg. C may kill the larvae without damaging the seed[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-09-20. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Vachellia+erioloba>

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