3446.000 Acacia Mill. - Thorn trees

SENEGALIA Raf.

VACHELLIA Wight & Arn.

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999) Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare

Description of the genus

Trees or shrubs, sometimes climbing, armed with thorns (native species) or unarmed (introduced species). Leaves alternate, 2-pinnate or (in some introduced spp.) modified to phyllodes and thus appearing to have simple leaves. Pinnae opposite, subopposite, sometimes alternate. Gland usually present on the upper side of the petiole, sometimes also glands on the rhachis. Inflorescences usually axillary, racemose or paniculate; flowers in elongated spikes or spherical heads, bisexual or unisexual. Calyx gamosepalous, subtruncate or with 4-5 lobes. Corolla 4-5(-7)-lobed. Stamens numerous. Anthers glandular or eglandular. Pod very variable, dehiscent or indehiscent. An important genus, occurring commonly in a wide range of habitats. A careful distinction should be made between the stipules which in some species are modified into straight spines arising from near the leaf base and prickles, which are usually curved and are usually found near the nodes but may occur along the stems. Some acacias, especially older trees, may be unarmed, which can be very puzzling. It is recommended that a careful search is made of the tree (if possible) or of similar trees in the area. An important general rule with acacias is that those with straight spines (stipules) have flowers in spherical heads and those with curved prickles have flowers in spikes. The exceptions are: Faidherbia albida has straight spines and flowers in spikes. Acacia mellifera has curved prickles but the flower spike is so short as to appear almost spherical. Acacia schweinfurthii has curved prickles and flowers in spherical heads. Acacia tortilis has both curved prickles and straight spiny stipules and flowers in spherical heads.

Comment: Read the "Acacia debate" on the website "Nature Zambia"

Worldwide: 1200 species in tropical and warm areas, many in Australia

Zambia: 36 taxa.

The larvae of the following species of insect eat species of this genus:
Azanus jesous (Topaz-spotted blue)
Cirina forda (Emperor moth)
Cyligramma latona (Cream-striped owl)
Hippotion celerio (Silver-striped hawk, Vine hawk)
Sphingomorpha chlorea (Sundowner moth or Banana hawk)
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Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsProvincesContent
amythethophylla Steud. ex A. Rich.B,N,W,C,ENw,Lp,N,E,CDescription, Image
ataxacantha DC.B,SLk,S,WDescription, Image
eriocarpa BrenanEE,Lk,SDescription, Image
erioloba E. Mey.B,SS,WDescription, Image
erubescens Welw. ex Oliv.N,SMc,SDescription, Image
fleckii SchinzB,SS,WDescription, Image
galpinii Burtt Davy[LR-nt]B,W,C,SCb,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
gerrardii Benth. var. gerrardii N,C,E,SMc,E,C,Lk,SDescription, Image
goetzei Harms[Agg]N,C,E,SMc,E,C,Lk,S
goetzei Harms subsp. goetzei C,E,SC,Lk,SDescription, Image
goetzei Harms subsp. microphylla BrenanN,C,E,SMc,E,Lk,SDescription
hebeclada DC.[Agg]B,S
hebeclada DC. subsp. chobiensis (O. B. Mill.) A. Schreib.[LR-lc]W,SS,WDescription, Image
hebeclada DC. subsp. hebeclada WDescription, Image
hockii De Wild.[LR-nt]N,W,ENw,McDescription, Image
karroo HayneCC,LkDescription, Image
kirkii Oliv. subsp. kirkii var. kirkii E,SE,SImage
luederitzii Engl. var. luederitzii BWDescription, Image
mellifera (Vahl) Benth. subsp. detinens (Burch.) BrenanB,N,SMc,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
montigena Brenan & Exell WNw
nigrescens Oliv.B,SMc,E,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile subsp. kraussiana (Vatke) BrenanN,E,SMc,E,Lk,SDescription, Image
pentagona (Schumach.) Hook. f.NDescription, Image
pilispina Pic. Serm. [LR-nt]B,W,C,E,SNw,Cb,E,C,S,WDescription, Image
polyacantha Willd. subsp. campylacantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) BrenanB,N,W,C,E,SNw,Cb,N,Mc,E,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
rehmanniana Schinz[DD]N,CN,CDescription, Image
robusta Burch. subsp. clavigera (E. Mey.) BrenanE,SE,Lk,SDescription, Image
schweinfurthii Brenan & ExellB,N,C,E,SLp,E,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
senegal (L.) Willd. var. leiorhachis BrenanW,SSDescription, Image
senegal (L.) Willd.[Agg]W,S
seyal Delile var. fistula (Schweinf.) Oliv. [LR-lc]C,SC,Lk,SDescription, Image
sieberiana DC. var. woodii (Burtt Davy) Keay & BrenanB,N,W,C,E,SCb,N,E,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
sieberiana DC. var. sieberiana SImage
sieberiana DC var. vermoesenii (De Wild.) Keay & BrenanNw,N,C,S,W
tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne[Agg]N,C,S
tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne subsp. spirocarpa (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) BrenanN,C,SMc,Lk,SDescription

Other sources of information about Acacia:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acacia
Flora of Caprivi: Acacia
Flora of Malawi: Acacia
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Acacia
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Acacia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acacia
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acacia

External websites:

ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Acacia
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Acacia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Acacia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acacia
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Acacia

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-18

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2018). Flora of Zambia: Genus page: Acacia.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=667, retrieved 18 October 2018

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