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Common Names: Umbrella Thorn, Mukoka, Mzunga, Mukoka
Family: Fabaceae (Legume Family) Mimosoideae


Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution 
A medium-sized semi-deciduous tree with angled lateral branching giving a flattish but dense, umbrella crown. Occurs at low altitudes across northern, eastern, central and southern Zambia usually in savannah, Munga and Mopane woodland.  

Size     Height up to 18m, usually smaller, spread 6 to 15m.
Bark    Dark brown to grey-black deeply fissured and scaly, but younger branches are grey brown to salmon pink and hairy. Spines are paired and may be long and slender (up to 9cm) or short and hooked.
Leaves    Alternate, compound, bipinnate with 4 to 10 pairs of pinnae, each with 7 to 15 opposite pairs of very small (0.5 cm), narrow but overlapping, bluish-green leaflets.
Flowers    Fragrant, small, white or creamy, in loose axillary or terminal branched round balls (up to 3cm), November to January.
Fruit     Small, narrow (0.5 to 1cm wide), pale brown papery, dehiscent pod in bunches, characteristically twisted and contorted (4 to 13cm), ripening March to June or later, dropping to release 14 rounded, brown seeds (5mm) with a horseshoe-shaped areole.
Uses    An alkali and drought-tolerant species with leaves and pods browsed widely by wildlife. The bark provides good tanin. 
Other species in Zambia: 28 other Acacia species and 8 sub-species.

Acacia (Vachellia) tortilis subsp. spirocarpa

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