Sweet thorn (Eng.), Soetdoring (Afr.)
A beautiful and useful tree that occurs from the Western Cape (RSA) to Zambia and Angola. Is usually linked to the sweetveld (good grazing and fertile soils). The tree is rounded in shape, has thorns, fine textured green leaves and yellow pompom flowers that fill the tree in early summer. Seedpods are flat and crescent shaped. Bark is dark brown to reddish and produces a gum that can be eaten by people, animals and is also used as a glue. The tree is also used in woodworking, firewood, animal feed and nectar for honey making. The tree can live up to 40 years, is a very adaptable pioneer and re-sprouter (grows up to 1m per year). In cool dry areas it becomes deciduous. It has the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, making it more fertile for grasses. Medicinal uses are wound poultices to eye treatments and cold remedies. Uses: Gum (sap) is eaten, used in pharmacaceutical products, for confectionary and as an adhesive, wood for woodworking, colourful garden plant (in spring), attracts insects and birds, for shade and wind breaks and has traditional medicinal uses.