Umbrella Thorn

Vachellia tortilis


An iconic desert tree of the most arid regions of Africa including the Sudan, Somalia and the Middle East extending as far as India, often as a small wiry bush but to 69 feet, its “umbrella shape” in part due to the constant underside grazing of wildlife. A nitrogen-fixer, a source of gum arabic, edible seed pods eaten both green and dry pounded into fire cakes, a leguminous tree possibly referred to in the Bible as St. John’s Bread, medicinal properties particular anti-fever and anti-parasitic, tea from leaves, extremely good hardwood with high btu value for fires and charcoal making, tools and weapons, thorny branches harvested for African “bomas” corrals to protect livestock from predators, shade, humus and browsed by all classes of livestock. Taproots measured to 200 feet deep or more. Moderately to extremely thorny.


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