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Ziziphus mucronata

The Buffalo Thorn tree (Blinkblaar wag-'n-bietjie)

Buffalo Thorn

Bark of the Ziziphus mucronata

Ziziphus mucronata branches

Characteristic Zig - Zagging of young branches

Blinkblaar Wag 'n Bietjie

One hooked and one straight thorn

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Safari Guide Trees of Southern Africa

Home > Safari Planner  > Southern African Trees

Southern Africa has a huge diversity of trees, and whilst for most people, going on a safari holiday in Africa is going to be all about the Big 5 animals. It is very important to remember that none of them would be there without Africa's trees, many of which have very interesting storieas to tell, I hope to pass a few of these on to you and when you go on safari, surprise your safari guide and ask him/her to tell you about some of the trees in the area, you'll be surprised how interesting they can be!

Common Trees and Shrubs of Southern Africa

  • Acacia burkei - Black Monkey Thorn - Swartapiesdoring
  • Acacia caffra - Common Hook-thorn - Gewone Haakdoring
  • Acacia eriolobaCamel thorn
  • Acacia erubescens – Blue thorn
  • Acacia galpinii - Monkey Thorn - Apiesdoring
  • Acacia karroo – Sweet thorn
  • Acacia mellifera  – Black thorn - Swaarthaak
  • Acacia nigrescens – Knob thorn
  • Acacia nilotica – Scented thorn
  • Acacia robusta – Ankle thorn
  • Acacia tortilisUmbrella thorn
  • Aloe marlothii – Mountain aloe
  • Boscia albitrunca - Shepherd’s tree
  • Boscia foetida subsp. Rehmanniana – Stink shepherd’s tree
  • Cassine transvaalensis – Transvaal saffron
  • Celtis africana – White stinkwood
  • Combretum apiculatum – Red bushwillow
  • Combretum erythrophyllum – River bushwillow
  • Combretum hereroense – Russet bushwillow
  • Combretum Imberbe – Leadwood
  • Combretum molle - Velvet Bush-willow
  • Combretum zeyheri – Large-fruited bushwillow
  • Dichrostachys cinerea – Sickle bush
  • Dombeya rotundifolia – Common wild pear
  • Erythrina lysistemon – Common coral tree
  • Euclea crispa – Blue guarri - Blou-ghwarrie
  • Euclea undulata - Common guarri
  • Euphorbia ingens – Common tree euphorbia
  • Faurea salinga – Transvaal beech (beechwood)
  • Grewia bicolor – White raisin
  • Grewia flava – Velvet raisin
  • Grewia flavescens – Sandpaper raisin
  • Gymnosporia buxifolia – Common spike-thorn
  • Kirkia wilmsii – Mountain seringa
  • Mundulea sericea – Cork bush
  • Olea europaea subsp. (=O. africana) – Wild olive
  • Ozoroa paniculosa – Common resin tree
  • Pappea capensis – Jacket plum
  • Peltophorum africanum – Weeping wattle
  • Pterocarpus rotundifolius – Round-leaved teak
  • Rhus lancea – Karree
  • Rhus leptodictya – Mountain karree
  • Sclerocarya birrea – Marula
  • Spirostachys africana – Tamboti
  • Tarchonanthus camphoratus – Camphor bush
  • Terminalia sericea – Silver cluster-leaf
  • Ximenia americana – Blue sourplum
  • Ziziphus mucronata - Buffalo thorn


Glossary of tree terms

  • Dehiscent – opening as in anthers or fruit.
  • Oblanceolate – inversely lanceolate (lance shaped) with the attachment at the narrow end
  • Sessile – attached directly without a supporting stalk, as in a leaf without a petiole (= stalkless)
  • Whorl – the arrangement of 3 or more leaves or flowers at the same node of the axis, forming an encircling ring




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