Acacia mellifera (Vahl) Benth.
subsp. detinens (Burch.) Brenan

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Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Petra Ballings
C49 to Linyanthi / Chichimane

Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Bart Wursten
C49 to Linyanthi / Chichimane

Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Bart Wursten
C49 to Linyanthi / Chichimane

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Acacia detinens Burch.
Senegalia mellifera (Vahl) Seigler & Ebinger subsp. detinens (Burch.) Kyal. & Boatwr.
Common names: Black thorn (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Young branches with distinct white lenticels; strongly hooked prickles in pairs at the nodes. Leaves c. 3 × 2 cm with 2-3 pairs of pinnae, each only with 1-2 pairs of leaflets; leaflets obovate, asymmetric, up to 2 × 1.5 cm, blue-green. Flowers in axillary clusters of subspherical or very shortly elongate heads, white, sweetly scented. Pod up to 9 × 2.5 cm, papery, straight, smooth, straw-coloured, dehiscent.
Derivation of specific name: mellifera: honey-bearing; referring to the fact that the flowers attract many bees;
detinens; detaining, holding back, referring to the fact that the strongly hooked thorns will catch anyone passing.
Habitat: In dry woodland and bush.
Flowering time:Jul - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From Tanzania to Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and northern South Africa.
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 1 October 2022

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 67 - 68.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 203. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 2.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 160 - 162. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 214.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 241.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 381. (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 106 - 107. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 168 - 169. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 60.

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999). Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare Pages 84 - 85. (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 210.

Other sources of information about Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Zambia: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Acacia mellifera
African Plant Database: Acacia mellifera
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Acacia mellifera
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acacia mellifera
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Acacia mellifera
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Acacia mellifera
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acacia mellifera
JSTOR Plant Science: Acacia mellifera
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Acacia mellifera
Plants of the World Online: Acacia mellifera
Tropicos: Acacia mellifera
Wikipedia: Acacia mellifera

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Caprivi: Species information: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens., retrieved 18 June 2024

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