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|Range of Acacia mellifera|
Range of Acacia mellifera
Acacia mellifera is a perennial tree which is not listed as being threatened.
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 Swaarthaak (Afrikaans).
Acacia mellifera can manifest itself either as a multi-trunked bush up to seven meters high with more or less a funnel-shaped crown, but also as a small single-trunked tree, which can reach a height of up to nine meters. This kind of acacia can reproduce by seed formation and by stick excursion to form an impenetrable thicket of several hundred individuals.
In the dry regions of Africa, Acacia mellifera is used, among other things, as fencing, feed and building material for huts. In some places, the blossom nectar is used as food, but primarily the milky sap is used to induce vomiting and the boiled bark is used to treat belly pain, pneumonia and malaria.
This tree is an important food resource for both cattle and wild animals especially in dry areas of Africa as 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 black rhino, giraffe and the eland.
- Acacia mellifera (Vahl)Benth. subsp. detinens (Burchell)Brenan
- Acacia mellifera (Vahl)Benth. subsp. mellifera