nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Del.
|| |||© W.D. Hawthorne|
Other images of the same specimen :
Keywords in this picture :
- Lamina leaf blade
- Spines prickles etc
- Leaf parts
- Leaf blade glands etc
- Plant parts
Places where this species can be found :
- Lance aux Epines - GRENADA
- Mt. Hartman Estate - GRENADA
InterestA. nilotica. "Babul" Africa to India. In some dry plains of Africa and Asia, this can be almost the only tree. Planted for bark, 12% tannin., and yields Babull gum, similar to gum Arabic (A.Senegal). The fruits ('Gambia pods') are edible and containing 30% tannin, are also used for tanning and as an agricultural molluscicide. Some feel that the thorn bush of Exodus 3 was Acacia nilotica Roasted seed kernels, sometimes used for flavoring and when crushed provide the dye for black strings worn by Nankani women. Trees used in Sudan for afforestation of inundated areas A valuable wood exported from ancient Egypt, used for house beams, statues etc. - with a reputation as impermeable and incorruptible, and especially used for boats. The sap of leaveas and young fruits is very rich in tannin,: an extract called Acacia vera was also exported from Egypt long ago, and used as one of various types of 'cutch' for tanning leather (Dalziel, 1948). Zulu take bark for cough, Chipi use root for tuberculosis. Masai are intoxicated by the bark and root decoction, said to impart courage, even aphrodisia, and the root is said to cure impotence etc. Egyptian Nubians believe that diabetics may eat unlimited carbohydrates as long as they also consume powdered pods (Duke, 1983a Duke, J.A. 1983a. Medicinal plants of the Bible. Trado-Medic Books, Owerri, NY. sensu lato An important source of firewood and good quality charcoal in the Sahelian regions and Tanzania, its calorific value 4950 kcal/kg for heartwood and 4800 kcal/kg for sapwood. Its bark is preferred by the Mbeere tribe (Kenya) for firing pottery, and its thorny branches for livestock pens. Its heartwood is very hard and heavy, 1170 kg/m3, red brown and sometimes with dark striations, it dries and works well but the its high silica content blunts tools. Has many timber uses, in hut construction, boat building, oil, sugar and cane presses, railway sleepers, poles for graneries and digging sticks (Wickens et al. 1995). Produces a gum with a positive optical rotation, and usually with high tannin contents. It is an important source of tannin for producing high quality leather in parts of Africa, bark containing over 20%, green pods 30% but only half this when mature, and the seeds must be removed first. Bark fibre is used in Somalia for making rope, and a preferred fibre source in Tanzania. The bark is also used to produce a red or black dye, and the pods produce a black red or yellow dye and an ink. Tender young pods are eaten as a vegetable, and roasted seeds serve as a spice or are fermented to make an alcoholic beverage. Boiled bark produces a coffee like beverage in Tanzania. Mbeere use the tree sap and shreds of bark to deter bed bugs, and the sap also produces a black anti-rust coating on iron. The sharp spines are used to remove jiggers from feet and in the circumcision of boys.
Other NotesSpecies characteristics: Very widespread species in Africa and also streaching to the Indian subcontinent and Shri Lanka, it is divided into nine subspecies. Single stemmed, deciduous or evergreen tree, usually 2.5-15 m tall, but reaching 25 m or more in the riverine subspecies, with a flattened spreading or rounded crown. Root system deep and extensive in dry sites, the taproot developing first and then the laterals, which become compact and massive, but in flooded sites the root system is largely lateral. Distinguished from most African Acacia species in possessing long straight paired thorns at the leaf axil which are characteristically deflexed. Acacia nilotica in Africa exhibits two very distinct ecological preferences: the subspecies subalata, leiocarpa and adstringens occur in wooded grassland, savanna and dry scrub forests on deep sandy loamy soils, and also on lateritic and calcareous sites. Subsp. kraussiana also prefers dry grasslands and savannas, especially on compacted sandy loam, shallow granite or clay soils along drainage lines and rivers, but away from flooding. On the other hand, subspecies nilotica and tomentosa are restricted to riverine habitats and seasonally flooded areas on clay alluvial soils. In the Indian subcontinent, subsp. indica forms low altitude dry forests usually on alluvium soils subject to flooding or black cotton soils. Now widely planted on farms throughout the plains, it will also grow on saline, alkaline, and on soils with calcareous pans.
CollectorW.D. Hawthorne, D.Jules
LocationLance Aux Epines, by road from Sugar Mill, nr. Calabash hotel. In roadside secondary thicket, 10m canopy,