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Sweet thorn

Vachellia karroo

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Sweet thorns are highly ornamental plants that can be grown as a multi-stemmed shrub or pruned to a single-stemmed tree. Acacia karroo has a rounded crown, branching fairly low down on the trunk and can reach a maximum height of 12 m where water is plentiful. The bark is red on young branches, darkening and becoming rough with age. The dark green leaves are finely textured. The yellow pompom flowers appear in early summer and are pollinated by insects. The crescent-shaped seed pods are flat and sometimes with constrictions between the seeds. They are green when young becoming brown and dry. The pods split open allowing the seeds to fall to the ground. The paired thorns are greyish to white, long and straight. On mature trees, the thorns may be quite short. A strong rope can be made from the inner bark which is pliable enough for rope-making when wet. The flowers produce lots of nectar and pollen for bee-farming and the honey has a pleasant flavour. In arid areas the sweet thorn is an indicator of water, both underground and surface. Uses: Bonsai. Edible gum. Used for chemical products, forage, domestic uses, environmental management, medicinal purposes, fibre, food, drink, and wood.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Autumn

Propagation

Seed
Sowing time - Spring; Germination time - 3-12 days;

Special features

Geography

Natural climate
Tropical savanna, Semi-arid, Sub-tropical and Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Clay, Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Notes
Bonsai. Edible gum. Used for chemical products, forage, domestic uses, environmental management, medicinal purposes, fibre, food, drink, and wood.

Personality

Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
Mild

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