Acacia polyacantha Willd.
subsp. campylacantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Brenan

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Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha

Photo: Petra Ballings
Gardiner Farm, nr Arcturus

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

Synonyms: Acacia caffra sensu Eyles
Acacia campylacantha A. Rich.
Acacia pallens sensu Steedman
Acacia suma sensu Eyles
Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger subsp. campylacantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Kyal. & Boatwr.
Common names: White thorn (English)
Status: Native
Medium-sized to large semi-deciduous tree with a typically layered crown. The bark is pale to dark yellowish-brown, pealing to show whitish inner layers. The thorns are hooked, often persisting on the larger branches and the trunk (see photo top right). The leaf petioles have an oblong flattened gland near the base. Inflorescences axillary, elongated spikes of creamy white flowers. Fruit flat and thin but not papery, splitting while still on the tree.
Derivation of specific name: polyacantha: with many spines
Flowering time:Sep - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa from the Gambia and Ethiopia to South Africa
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Axiocerses tjoane tjoane (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Biegel, H.M. (1977). Check-list of ornamental plants used in Rhodesian parks and gardens. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal. Research Report No. 3. Page 17.

Bingham, M.G. (2012). Acacia Polyacantha Willd. subsp. campylacantha (A. Rich) Brenan Black Lechwe 18(3) Pages 22 - 24. (Includes a picture).

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 70 - 72. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 198. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 2.

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 235 - 238. as Acacia campylacantha (Includes a picture).

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 183. as Acacia polyacantha (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.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 50 - 51. (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 112 - 113. (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.

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

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 14. as Acacia pallens (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 93.

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999). Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare Pages 102 - 105. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Malawi: Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Zambia: Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha

External websites:

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

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 polyacantha subsp. campylacantha., retrieved 20 July 2024

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