THEPRIDE

ZIMBABWE

CAMEL THORN

Vachellia erioloba (camel thorn, giraffe thorn), still more commonly known as Acacia erioloba, is a tree of southern Africa in the family Fabaceae. Its preferred habitat is the deep dry sandy soils in parts of South Africa, Botswana, the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

(unranked): Angiosperms

(unranked): Eudicots

(unranked): Rosids

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Genus: Vachellia

Species: V. erioloba

 

Binomial name

Vachellia erioloba

 

Vachellia erioloba (camel thorn, giraffe thorn), still more commonly known as Acacia erioloba, is a tree of southern Africa in the family Fabaceae. Its preferred habitat is the deep dry sandy soils in parts of South Africa, Botswana, the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia. It is also native to Angola, south-west Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland.The tree was first described by Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Meyer and Johann Franz Drège in 1836.[3] The camel thorn is a protected tree in South Africa.

 

The tree can grow up to 17 metres high. It is slow-growing, very hardy to drought and fairly frost-resistant. The wood is dark reddish-brown in colour and extremely dense and strong. It is good for fires, which leads to widespread clearing of dead trees and the felling of healthy trees. It produces ear-shaped pods, favoured by a large number of herbivores including cattle. The seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee beans.[5]

 

The name 'camel thorn' refers to the fact that giraffe (kameelperd in Afrikaans) commonly feed on the leaves with their specially-adapted tongue and lips that can avoid the thorns. The scientific name 'erioloba' means "wooly lobe", a reference to the ear-shaped pods.[6]

 

It's most commonly seen and used as the metonym of the long running PBS wildlife program Nature, as the tree is commonly seen in their title sequence and program logo.[7].