seeds of Acacia tortilis, Umbrella Thorn Acacia
Acacia tortilis, also known as the umbrella thorn acacia, is a tree species of the family Fabaceae. The tree’s synonyms include Mimosa tortilis and Vachellia tortilis. Common names for the plant include Israeli babool and umbrella thorn. Acacia tortilis has its origins in the African savanna and Sahel region. The tree also grows in the Middle East. The tree can achieve a maximum height of 21 metres. Nevertheless, should weather conditions be extremely dry, the plant can hardly develop beyond a miniature-sized bush. The tree’s flowers are small, white, aromatic, and develop in clusters. The leaves, which have a length of 2.5 cm, comprise between 4 and 10 pairs of pinnae. The pinnae, in turn, comprise no more than 15 pairs of leaflets. The tree’s pods are coiled and flat. Acacia tortilis serves as an adequate source of timber which can be used to make furniture, cages and fence posts. The trees leaves and seeds serve as an efficient food for both livestock and desert animals during dry months. The tree is not only a good source of tannins, but also produces edible gum which is more commonly known as Gum Arabic. Communities that live in the Savanna have used the shoots, roots, and pods for a variety of purposes since time immemorial. Such purposes involve the making of medicines, weapons, ornaments, and tools. Acacia tortilis is a hardy plant with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots. The tree’s hardiness derives from its ability to cope with drought, excessive salinity, and strong winds. These attributes make Acacia tortilis the ideal plant for use in recovering degraded lands. The umbrella thorn acacia is capable of growing in areas with temperatures that range from 0 to 50 ˚C. Such areas should have yearly rainfall readings that range between 100 and 1000 mm.
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