Click for the homepage of The Safari Guide, your resource to a safari holiday in Africa

Acacia tortilis

Photo of the whole Umbrella Thorn tree

Umbrella Thorn

Acacia tortilis (Haak en steek) - The Hook thorns and Stab Spines!

Umbrella Thorn Flowers

The Yellow flowers of the Acacia tortilis

Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras

what is the Best Digital Camera to take on Safari?

Safari Holiday Shop

Safari Holiday Shop

Over 650 safari package holidays available online or you can design your own.

Birdwatching Holidays

Birdwatching Holidays

Safari holidays, with an emphasis on the birds

Acacia tortilis - Umbrella Thorn - Haak-en-steek

Home > Safari Planner  > Trees  > Acacia tortilis

Acacia tortilis - Umbrella ThornThe Acacia tortilis is the iconic "Out of Africa" Acacia and the english common name of Umbrella Thorn Acacia referrers to the trees overall shape, which often resembles an umbrella. The Afrikaans name of Haak en steek meaning hook and stab, refers to the fact that there are often hooked thorns that can hook you, as well as long spines that can stab you.

  • Bipinnately compound (twice divided) leaves
  • Spines present, at least some, if not all recurved
  • Flowers in Spring – Summer


The word Acacia comes from Acantha which means Thorn
The species name: Tortilis refers to the twisted pods.

Features of the Umbrella Thorn (Haak en steek) or Acacia tortilis

  • Easiest to find on the plains of the thorny bushveld.
  • Most striking of the umbrella trees with a very flat umbrella canopy of grey green leaves.
  • The leaflets are very tiny.
  • There are some straight and some hooked thorns in different arrangements.
  • Each pod is tightly coiled.
  • In early summer tree is covered in small white flower balls.
  • Thorns: Sharp, white thorns not always obvious.


Animals uses for the Acacia tortilis

  • Browsed by antelope and giraffe.
  • Pods eaten by virtually every grazing and browsing mammal often in preference to any other pod.
  • Coiled pod shape makes easy to pick up with out getting mouth full of grit.
  • Often damaged by elephants.

 

Human uses for the Umbrella Thorn or Haak en Steek

  • Wood makes good wagon beams, yolks and some furniture if treated carefully
  • Gum is edible.
  • Inner bark can be used to make rope.

 

Notes:

  • Some trees were seen to have very few of the straight white thorns, others with many – why?

 

 

 

Search the Safari Holiday Guide

Safari Binoculars

Safari BinocularsAfter your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday, rather forget your passport than leave your binoculars at home! So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> more



African Travel, Safari & Wildlife Books

African Safari, Travel and Wildlife BooksThe Best Wildlife books, Travel books and Safari books to take with you on your holiday to Africa, depending on your needs and experience and where to buy them. >> more





Acacia tortilis

Steiner Safari BinocularsAfter your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday. So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> Binocular Reviews

 

 

Back to Top

Home | Contact Us | Sitemap

Safari-Guide
The African Holiday and Travel Resource