Xanthocercis zambesiaca

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Xanthocercis zambesiaca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Xanthocercis
Species: X. zambesiaca
Binomial name
Xanthocercis zambesiaca
(Baker) Dumaz-le-Grand
  • Pseudocadia zambesiaca (Baker) Harms
  • Sophora zambesiaca Baker

Xanthocercis zambesiaca (Mashatu tree[citation needed] or Nyala tree) is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. It is found in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.[1]

Nyala trees grow along rivers or termite mounds where they have access to lots of moisture and fertile soil. They are prolific in the Tuli Block of Botswana along the Limpopo and Shashe rivers where they are known as Mashatu trees. The nyala tree is a phreatophyte - it indicates the presence of ground water. The wood of a nyala tree can be worked, finishing with a smooth appearance, but irritates the nose and throat in the process.[2]


  1. ^ GRIN Taxonomy for Plants: Xanthocercis zambesiaca
  2. ^ Emmett, Megan; Pattrick, Sean (2012). Game Ranger in Your Backpack: All-in-one Interpretative Guide to the Lowveld. Briza. ISBN 978-1-920217-06-8.