Senegalia mellifera

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Senegalia mellifera
Acacia mellifera, Phalandingwe, a.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Senegalia
Species: S. mellifera
Binomial name
Senegalia mellifera
(M. Vahl) Seigler & Ebinger
subspecies[1]
  • Senegalia mellifera subsp. detinens (Burch.) Kyal. & Boatwr.
  • Senegalia mellifera subsp. mellifera (M. Vahl) Seigler & Ebinger
Acacia-mellifera-range-map.png
Range of Senegalia mellifera
Synonyms
  • Acacia mellifera (M. Vahl) Benth.
  • Mimosa mellifera M. Vahl

Senegalia mellifera is a common thorn tree in Africa. The name mellifera refers to its sweet-smelling blossoms and honey. Its lumber turns pitch black when oiled. Common names of the tree include Blackthorn and Swarthaak (Afrikaans). It is listed as being not threatened.[2]

Distribution[edit]

Senegalia mellifera is found in the dry areas of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

Senegalia mellifera can occur either as a multi-trunked bush up to seven meters high with more or less a funnel-shaped crown, or as a single-trunked tree that can reach a height of up to nine meters. It can form an impenetrable thickets. In some areas of Africa, it is considered an invasive species as it can expand into and cover large ares of farmland.

Uses[edit]

In Africa, Senegalia mellifera is used as fencing, livestock feed and building material for huts. It flowers are sources of nectar for honey-producing bees. The wood is prized also for fuel and making charcoal. [3] It is widely used in traditional African medicine.[4]

Animal uses[edit]

This tree is an important food resource for both cattle and wild animals especially in dry areas of Africa. The leaves and young branches are very nutritious, containing a high percentage of protein. The flowers are often eaten by kudu. Common browsers of the tree include elephants, black rhino, giraffe and the eland.

References[edit]

General references[edit]

Notes[edit]