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This species is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Sinai to Arabian Peninsula.
Vachellia tortilis

[FZ]

Leguminosae, J.P.M. Brenan. Flora Zambesiaca 3:1. 1970

Morphology General Habit
Tree 4-21 m. high, occasionally (probably not in our area) a bush 1 m. high; crown flat or spreading;10 bark grey to black, fissured; young branchlets glabrous to densely pubescent, going brown to purplish-black.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules spinescent, some short ± hooked and up to c. 5 mm. long, mixed with other long straight whitish ones to c. 8(10) cm. long; “ant-galls” and other prickles absent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves; rhachis short, 2 cm. long or less; pinnae 2-10 pairs, 2-17 mm. long; leaflets 6-19 pairs per pinna, usually very small, 0.5-2.5(6) mm. long, ciliate to glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cream or whitish, in axillary heads 5-10 mm. in diam. on peduncles 0.4-2.4 cm. long; involucel in the lower half of the peduncle.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods contorted or spirally twisted, longitudinally veined, tomentellous to glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds olive- to red-brown, 7 x 4.5-6 mm., smooth, elliptic, compressed; areole 5-6 x 3-4 mm.

[ILDIS]

International Legume Database and Information Service

Conservation
Not Threatened
Ecology
Africa: Sahara regional transition zone; woodland., Zambezian woodland, Somalia-Masai bushland and thicket, Kalahari-Highveld regional transition zone; wooded grassland., Sudanian woodland, Karroo-Namib shrubland, Sahel regional transition zone - wooded g
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, Not climbing, Shrub/Tree

[FTEA]

Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

Morphology General Habit
Tree 4–21 m. high, occasionally (probably not in our area) a bush 1 m. high; crown flat or spreading;bark grey to black, fissured.
Morphology Branches
Young branchlets glabrous to densely pubescent, going brown to purplish-black.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules spinescent, some short ± hooked and up to about 5 mm. long, mixed with other long straight whitish ones to about 8(–10) cm. long; “ant-galls” and other prickles absent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves:rhachis short, 2 cm. long or less; pinnae 2–10 pairs, 2–17 mm. long; leaflets 6–19 pairs per pinna, usually very small, 0.5–2.5(–6) mm. long, ciliate to glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cream or whitish, in axillary heads 5–10 mm. in diameter on peduncles 0.4–2.4 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods contorted or spirally twisted, longitudinally veined, tomentellous to glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds olive- to red-brown, smooth, elliptic, compressed, 7 mm. long, 4.5–6 mm. wide; areole 5–6 mm. long, 3–4 mm. wide.
Distribution
Algeria to Egypt (? Palestine) and Arabia southwards to South Africa

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Tree 4–21 m, mostly with flat crown; young branchlets glabrous to densely pubescent
Morphology General Spines
Stipular spines in pairs, some short, hooked and up to 5 mm long, mixed with other straight slender ones up to 10 cm long
Morphology Leaves
Pinnae 2–10 pairs; leaflets 6–22 pairs, 0.5–4(–6) x 0.5–1 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers whitish, in heads; peduncles 0.4–2.4 cm long, with the involucel in the lower half
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 1–2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 1.5–2.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods contorted, spirally twisted, or rarely almost straight, indehiscent or very slowly dehiscent, 0.6–1(–1.3) cm wide, longitudinally veined, glabrous to tomentellous or villous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 4–7 x 3–6 mm, compressed; areole 3–6 x 2–4 mm.
Note
Var. crinita is a form with pods clothed with 1–3 mm long spreading hairs. In Somalia it is only known from S1, but plants with similar indumentum of the pods are known also from Kenya and Tanzania. A. tortilis in general is very variable in Somalia and at least two forms here tentatively placed in subsp. spirocarpa may well represent other taxa: (1) In N3 there are forms with glabrous pods like subsp. raddiana, but with hairy leaves like subsp. spirocarpa. They agree quite well with subsp. heteracantha (Burch.) Brenan in the dry regions of southern Africa, but I hesitate in placing them in this taxon without further evidence. (2) In C1 and C2 there is a shrubby form with almost straight, pubescent and glandular pods, up to 15 x 0.5 cm, and hairy leaves. This might be best treated as a subspecies of its own, but also here further studies are needed.

[ILDIS]
Use
Chemical products, Environmental, Food and Drink, Forage, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Wood

Native to:

Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina, Cape Provinces, Caprivi Strip, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Free State, Gulf States, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sinai, Socotra, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

India, Madagascar, Pakistan

English
Curly-pod acacia, Umberella thorn

Vachellia tortilis (Forssk.) Galasso & Banfi appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 9, 1951 Deflers [336], Saudi Arabia Acacia tortilis K000791111
Nader, I.A. [306], Saudi Arabia Acacia tortilis 48906.000
Nader, I.A. [307], Saudi Arabia Acacia tortilis 48916.000
Rico, L. [1836], Tunisia Acacia tortilis K000296054
Schweinfurth, G. [601], Yemen Acacia tortilis K000791114
Schweinfurth, G. [19], Yemen Acacia tortilis K000791113
Deflers [510], Yemen Acacia tortilis K000791112
Schweinfurth, G. [1966], Sudan Acacia tortilis K000244225

First published in Atti Soc. Ital. Sci. Nat. Mus. Civico Storia Nat. Milano 149: 150 (2008)

Accepted by

  • Musselman, L.J. (2011). Checklist of Plants of Lebanon and Syria http://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/lebsyria/Checklist%20of%20Lebanon%20Plants.pdf.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Boulos, L. (1999). Flora of Egypt 1: 1-419. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
  • Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Flora Zambesiaca 3(1): 1-153. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2012). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 4: 1-431. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • Du Puy, D.J., Labat, N.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar: 1-737. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Ghazanfar, S.A. (2007). Flora of the Sultanate of Oman. volume 2. Crassulaceae - Apiaceae Scripta Botanica Belgica 36: 1-220.
  • Kalema, J. & Beentje, H. (2012). Conservation checklist of the trees of Uganda: 1-235. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
  • Musselman, L.J. (2011). Checklist of Plants of Lebanon and Syria http://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/lebsyria/Checklist%20of%20Lebanon%20Plants.pdf.
  • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Singh, A. (2012). Exotic flora of the Chandauli district Uttar Pradesh, India: an overview Indian Journal of Forestry 35: 79-84.

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

International Legume Database and Information Service
International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS) V10.39 Nov 2011
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Plants and People Africa
Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
© Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/