Photo of the whole Camel Thorn tree
Acacia erioloba Pods
Detail of the Kameeldoring, Camel Thorn Pods
Acacia erioloba (Kameeldoring)
Camel Thorn Flowers
The Yellow flowers of the Acacia erioloba
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Acacia erioloba - Camel Thorn - Kameeldoring
The simplest way to identify the Acacia erioloba is with it's large ear shaped pods and this is where it get's it's latin species name of erioloba from.
The Afrikaans name of Kameeldoring meaning "Giraffe Thorn" refers to the fact that Giraffes love to eat both the flowers and leaves of the Acacia erioloba.
The english name of Camel Thorn probably comes from the misinterpretation of Kameeldoring, with the English settlers in Southern Africa thinking that the Afrikaners meant Camel Thorn and it should actually be the Giraffe Thorn!
- Leaves bipinnately compound (twice divided)
- Spines present, all straight.
- Flowers in Winter - Spring.
- Medium to large tree.
The word Acacia comes from Acantha which means Thorn
The species name: erioloba refers to the very hairy fruit.
Features of the Camel Thorn (Kameeldoring) or Acacia erioloba
- Prefers deep sandy well drained soils.
- Single trunked tree with large spreading canopy.
- Bark is dark, ropey and deeply fissured lengthways.
- The straight white thorns are well developed and often have a swollen base.
- The hard wooden pods are characteristically kidney (Ear) shaped and covered by velvety gray hairs.
- The yellow flower balls appear before the leaves – late July to November
Animals uses for the Acacia erioloba
- Flowers and leaves eaten eagerly by giraffe from which the Afrikaans name Kameeldoring is derived.
- Pods are known by farmers to be very nutritious and cattle and game will eat them
- Wilted green pods – high in prussic acid – very poisonous, kills cattle.
- Gum is favorite food of the Kori Bustard.
Human uses for the Camel Thorn or Kameeldoring
- Wood makes good spoon and knife handles
- Bark used to treat headaches.
- Tea made from leaves to treat coughs and lung infections.
- *Pods become swollen because of ants that dig into them and I think lay eggs there?
- Kameelperd is a giraffe in Afrikaans meaning Camel horse
- Very deep tap root.
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