senegal var. (L.) Willd.
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InterestIt is an important source of firewood and charcoal in the Sahelian regions. It wood is hard, dark and termite resistent. Used for construction timber, central poles in nomadic Somali huts, tool and implement handles, fence posts and weavers shuttles. Its foliage pods and gums are eaten by livestock, so it is excluded from the gum gardens in Sudan as browsing reduces gum yields. Giraffe and impala browse it, and baboons eat young foliage and flowers. Flowers are a good bee forage, producing an amber coloured mild aroma honey, however it granulates rapidly within 2 weeks. Bark fibres from the roots are woven into ropes in the Sahel, and it is the lateral roots that make the strongest ropes suitable for well ropes and fishing nets (Wickens et al. 1995). Inner bark used by the Hausa to treat jaundice. Seeds dried and preserved for human consumption, gum is edible. The gum has many medicinal uses, in the Horn of Africa mixed with milk and taken for back pains. Gum arabic is a valuable product sold in international markets. It also has a secondary role as a restorer of soil fertility and a provider of fuel and fodder in many agricultural systems. The increased crop yields on land cleared of acacias are recognized in many parts of Africa even where there is no tradition of bush-fallow. It has value in desertification control through sand dune stabilization and wind breaks.
Other NotesCommon names: Cameroon: Kitir (Kotoko); Chad: Guerasa (Baguirmi), Kitir (Arabic), Kitir abiet (Arabic); Ethiopia: Garbi (Gallinia); Kenya: Adad (Somali), Chemanayan (Pokot), Chemangayan (Pokot), Chemanka (Pokot), Chemanka (Tugen), Danyukit (Pokot), Ekunoit (Ngikuno) (Turkana), Golole (Boran), Idado (Boran), Ngolpelwo (Tugen); Rwanda: Umkodji (Kinyaruanda), Umukodji (Kinyaruanda); Senegal: Gommier blanc (French), Verak (Oloff), Verede (Oloff), Verek (Wolof); Somalia: Adad (Somali); Sudan: Abu gebala (Arabic), Burkutu (Bari), Fish hook Acacia (English), Garandak (Hames), Hashab (Arabic), Um gebala (Arabic); Tanzania: Lyadulele (Kii-Arusha), Mkalankanga (Irangi), Olkiloreti (Masai). Species characteristics: In the field, A. senegal can develop various very different growth forms. A. senegal var. rostrata and A. senegal var. kerensis only form low shrubs with flat crowns (although A. senegal var. rostrata can also form a small tree in southern Africa); whereas A. senegal var. senegal and A. senegal var. leiorhachis can develop into larger trees to 12 metres high (although A. senegal var. leiorhachis can also form a low bush with tall whippy stems that can reach 15 metres). The bark on the main trunk is yellowish to grey or greyish brown, rough and fissured or smooth and papery and peeling off in strips. Has prickles 2-8 mm long, grouped in threes at the nodes (leaf axils), with the central one hooked downwards and the two laterals more or less curved upwards, or a single prickle with the laterals absent. It has a relatively shallow root system; it can develop both tap root and lateral root systems depending on site conditions, and extended lateral roots under sandy conditions provide soil stabilization. Distribution : Burkina Faso (Centre); Cameroon (Benoue, Logne et Chari, Diamare, Margui Wandala, Chari Baguirmi); Ethiopia (Harerge, Shewa, Awash valley, Sidamo, Gamo Gofa, Gondar, Arsi, Bale); Ghana; India (Punjab, Dehli, Rajputana); Ivory Coast (Nord); Kenya (Turkana, Rift valley, Northern Frontier, Kajiado, Garissa, Machakos, Eastern, Nairobi, Kitui, Nakuru, Kiambu, Narok, Taita, Maralal, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru, Embu, Kwale, Mandera, West Suk, Baringo, Thika, Wajir, Kilifi, Lamu, Pokot, Machakos/Kiui); Mali (Gao, Mopti, Segou, Kayes); Mauritania (Tagant, Adrar, Trarza, Inchiri); Mozambique (Cabo Delgado, Niassa); Niger (Niamey, Dosso); Nigeria (Bauchi, Adamawa, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Ibadan, Katsina, Bornu, Kano); Pakistan (Sind); Rwanda (Mutara); Senegal (Kaolack, Saint Louis, Louga, Diourbel, Tambacounda, Fatick); Somalia (Hiiraan, Mudug, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Jubbada hoose, Bay, Bari, Woqooyi Galbeed, Gedo, Jubbada Dhexe, Togdheer, Northern); Sudan (Darfur, Kordofan, Bahr el Gebel, Ilemi Triangle, Equatoria); Tanzania (Central, Coast, Korogwe, Southern Highlands, Tanga, Northern, Mkalama, Lake, Western, Singinda, Masailand, Hadeni, Mbulu, Tabora, Masai, Pangani, Monduli); Uganda (Northern, Acholi); Zaire (Lac Albert); Chad (Mayo Kebbi, Chari Baguirmi, Batha, Ennedi); Eritrea. Specimen total: 398 Degree squares: 86 Collection years: 1749-1994 Flowering period: Jan(13), Feb(6), Mar(7), Apr(11), May(18), Jun(13), Jul(26), Aug(19), Sep(21), Oct(15), Nov(6), Dec(9) Fruiting period: Jan(8), Feb(5), Mar(8), Apr(10), May(17), Jun(19), Jul(19), Aug(21), Sep(15), Oct(18), Nov(20), Dec(13) Altitude range: 100-2073m