Acacia karroo Seeds
Common Names: Sweet thorn; Soetdoring
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 name Acacia is derived from "akis" meaning a point or barb. 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. In cultivation many species are fast-growing but short-lived (10-15 years). They do best in full sun and well-drained soil. Some will take part-shade. Prune to shape after their flowers have fallen. 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 karroo has a rounded crown, branching fairly low down on the trunk. It is variable in shape and size, reaching a maximum of about 12m where there is good water. The bark is red on young branches, darkening and becoming rough with age. Sometimes an attractive reddish colour can be seen in the deep bark fissures. The leaves are finely textured and dark green. The flowers appear in early summer in a mass of yellow pompoms. Many insects visit and pollinate these flowers.
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