Acacia tortilis Seeds
Common Names: Umbrella thorn; Haak-en-steek
Acacia is a large genus, in the Fabaceae family, that contains over 1200 species of trees and shrubs from warm climates. Some are deciduous but most are evergreen. Over 700 species are native to Australia. There are 40 species, subspecies and varieties of Acacia indigenous to South Africa. They range from low-growing shrubs to tall trees and many have been introduced to other countries for economic and ornamental purposes. Acacias are also common in tropical and subtropical Africa; most African species are characterized by vicious spines and referred to as ‘thorn trees’. The flowers, ranging from deep golden yellow to cream or white, and crowded into globular heads or cylindrical spikes, are often fragrant and produce abundant, bee-attracting pollen. The fruit of Acacias are either round or flattened pods. They do well in most parts of South Africa, and resist all but the severest frosts. Many of them make suitable bonsai candidates. The hard coated seeds remain viable for up to 30 years. They should be treated by heating and soaking for germination in spring. They do best in full sun and well-drained soil. Some of the more popular African Acacia species include Acacia arenaria, Acacia ataxacantha, Acacia borleae, Acacia brevispica, Acacia burkei, Acacia caffra, Acacia davyi, Acacia erioloba, Acacia erioloba x haematoxylon, Acacia exuvialis, Acacia fleckii, Acacia galpinii, Acacia gerrardii, Acacia grandicornuta, Acacia haematoxylon, Acacia hebeclada, Acacia hebeclada ssp. chobiensis, Acacia hebeclada ssp. hebeclada, Acacia hebeclada ssp. tristis, Acacia karroo, Acacia luderitzii var. luderitzii, Acacia luederitzii, Acacia mellifera, Acacia montis-usti, Acacia natalitia, Acacia nigrescens, Acacia nilotica, Acacia permixta, Acacia polycantha, Acacia polycantha ssp. campylacantha, Acacia reficiens, Acacia rehmanniana, Acacia robusta, Acacia schweinfurthii, Acacia senegal, Acacia sieberiana var. woodii, Acacia swazica, Acacia tortilis and Acacia xanthophloea.
Acacia tortilis is widely distributed over the warm, dry parts of the northern and eastern parts of the country. It has the classic, umbrella-shaped canopy associated with thorn trees. It reaches heights of between 5-20m in nature. Flowering is profuse and occurs from November-January. The flowers are white to pale yellow. The species adapts well to garden conditions, provided it does not receive too much water. It tolerates moderate frost and much drought. This truly makes an outstanding Bonsai specimen!!.
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