|Acacia erioloba Camel Thorn|
|Seeds and pods|
Acacia erioloba (Camel thorn, Giraffe thorn, Afrikaans: Kameeldoring, Tswana: Mogôtlhô, Sotho: Mogohlo) is a southern African acacia. Its preferred habitat is the deep dry sandy soils of the Transvaal, western Free State, northern Cape Province, Botswana, and the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia. The tree was first described by Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Meyer & Johann Franz Drège in 1836.
The tree can grow up to 17 metres high,And it is commonly found in Namibia. Its name refers to the fact that giraffe (kameelperd in Afrikaans) and camels commonly graze on the harder-to-reach succulent leaves normally out of reach of smaller animals. Giraffe in particular are partial to all acacias and manifest a specially-adapted tongue and lips that can cope with the vicious thorns. It also grows ear-shaped pods, which are favoured by a large number of herbivores including cattle. The wood is dark reddish-brown in colour and extremely dense and strong. It is slow-growing, very hardy to drought and fairly frost-resistant.
The wood is a good fuel for fires, which leads to widespread clearing of dead trees and the felling of healthy trees. According to superstition, lightning will strike at A. erioloba more readily than other trees.
Mokala Bark on a tree near Potgietersrust in Transvaal, South Africa
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Acacia erioloba.|
- "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 3 May 2013.
- The type specimen of Acacia giraffae, proved on closer examination to be a hybrid of A. haematoxylon and the species which would later become known as A. erioloba. The name A. erioloba was therefore proposed for the vast numbers of Camel Thorn which are not hybrids.
- USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network entry for Acacia erioloba