Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger, Phytologia 91:28. 2009 (Syn:Acacia campylacantha Hochst. ex A. Rich. [≡ “Senegalia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha“]; (≡) Acacia polyacantha Willd. (basionym); Acacia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Brenan [≡ “Senegalia polyacantha subsp. campylacantha“]; Acacia polyacantha subsp. polyacantha [≡ Senegalia polyacantha subsp. polyacantha]; Acacia suma (Roxb.) Buch.-Ham. ex Voigt [= Senegalia polyacantha subsp. polyacantha]; Mimosa suma Roxb. [= Senegalia polyacantha subsp. polyacantha]);
If leaflets, young branches and calyx is hairy tomentose, then it is S. catechu. If these organs are glabrous, it is S. chundra.
Naturally, S. catechu is found in northern part of India, north of Maharashtra, while S. chundra is found in South of Maharashtra. However, S. catechu is being cultivated for extraction of tannins.
The characters ‘number of pinnae and number of leaflet’ are overlapping. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to identify based on herbarium specimens. Place of collection will give basic idea whether the species is S. catechu or S. chundra. Senegalia polyacantha is distributed almost every state of India except northeast and temperate regions. To confirm the identity, it is important to observe bark, young stem, calyx. Pods of S. catechu and S. chundra are similar. They are reddish brown to brown at maturity while S. polyacantha showed light brown pods. Also, please observe prickles are brown, smaller, about 2-4 mm in S. catechu and S. chundra while prickles are light brown, husk coloured and longer, about 3-8 mm in S. polyacantha.
That means keys in the attachment at efi thread (Kshirsagar – 2012 – Observations and taxonomic assessment of Acacia catechu willd. complex (Mimosaceae) in India.pdf) w.r.t. number of pinnae more than 20 in Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger & upto 20 in S. catechu & S. chundra is not correct.
White Thorn, hook thorn, falcon’s claw acacia;
India (N): Andhra Pradesh; Delhi ; Goa ; Gujarat ; Karnataka ; Maharashtra ; Tamil Nadu ; West Bengal; Sri Lanka (N) and other countries as per ILDIS;
Acacia polycantha – MS010511 – 6: 3 images.
Acacia polycantha (syn. Acacia suma), common in Mysore city.
Photos taken on 13.1.11.
The special feature of the tree is the papery bark (silvery) flakes of periodically. The tree is armed.
Latest citation requested.
Fabaceae – Mimosaceae week- Senegalia polyacantha from Coimbatore: 4 images.
efloraindia: 071211 BRS 247: 4 images as above.
Pl. find the attached file contain photos for id. request.
Location: NBNP Garden
(In tamil its called Othalai maram.)
may be Acacia catechu? but please wait for expert comments.
definetily Acacia catechu
it may be Acacia polyacantha.
Accacia catechu is considered as a synonym of Accacia polycantha.
Hence I think everyone is correct in the sense.
ID request _ DN1213-NBR : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5).
Pictures taken in the month of December (17/12/13 08.10am). It was planted.
The tree was roughly 20 feet in height and its whitish bark was flaking.
My guess is Acacia polyacantha (Syn. A. suma)
Fifth image is from same area but different location (200m away) and I assume it is of same tree.
yes it is Acacia polyacantha
Thank you very much for confirming ID.
tree for ID – Karnataka – 10022014-NAW1 : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3 + 1).
Kindly identify this thorny tree with flaky bark.
Photographed north of Bangalore near the Karnataka- Andhra Pradesh border planted on the roadside beginning Jan 2014.
Height of trees 8-10 metres. Seedpod about 7-8 cm.
Acacia polyacantha Willd. (syn. Acacia suma). Check for the subspecies.
A closer view of the bark (with some help of gimp). Other pictures have not come out very clear.
Thank you all for the identification.
TSPNOV2015-55:Images of Senegalia polycantha (Fabaceae) : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
It is my pleasure to share few images of Senegalia polycantha (Fabaceae)
Habit: Medium sized, armed tree.
Habitat: Wild, dry deciduous forest.
Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl.
Thank you for showing these beautiful images. However, I am unable to distinguish the species from Senegalia catechu, although treated separately by several authors. One young man, Mr. Anup Deshpande at Goa University is currently working on the Indian Acacias and I hope that he will be able to enlighten me in due course. Dr. Bruce Maslin is likely to visit India shortly and if I get an opportunity, I will discuss several issues on the Indian Acacias with him and will try to clarify a number of confusions that I am having at present.
that will be great and will you let us know. a summary here or a thread by you would be very nice
I am interested in Indian Acacias as I worked on the group in the nineties and published my findings. There has been drastic overhauling in the group since then. First, splitting of the genus Acacia into three genera and in this connection lot of new combinations were made. Even species clubbed together by me and Dr. Gangopadhyay are now recognized to be distinct entities. Similar is the case of Acacia polyacantha (Now Senegalia polyacantha), Having failed to differentiate it from A. catechu, I treated the former as a synonym of the latter. I sent copies of these publication to … from time to time for updating.
One drawback of my work is that I could not examine the type of several taxa and decision had to be taken without seeing them. In the seventies and eighties the foreign herbaria were sending type materials on loan but they discontinued this practice in the nineties because of poor mailing conditions. The first in line was the Kew herbarium which stopped sending any specimen to India on loan. At present, we are able to see at least the images of the type specimens of the Indian species distributed in various foreign herbaria. I do not know … personally and … informed me that he is working on the Indian Acacias for his Ph. D. I have not seen any publication by … so far and waiting eagerly to see what he finds out. Dr. Bruce, being World expert on Acacias can clarify my doubts in several cases, particularly on the introduced species. He has already clarified my confusions with regards to the group for State Flora of Karnataka which I am editing at present. I am looking forward for his forthcoming visit to India with great anticipation.
I can circulate the publications of Drs. Bruce and Ragupathy et al. in the itpmods. My publication is as follows for which I do not have any soft copy.
CHAKRABARTY, T. AND M. GANGOPADHYAY. 1996. The genus Acacia P. Miller (Leguminosae : Mimosoideae) in India. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 20(3): 599 – 633.
Senegalia (Fabaceae (Leguminosae)) page with images of species in efloraofindia : 3 posts by 2 authors.
If you find any incorrect identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified images, it will be really nice.
This is quite impressive page. However, I would like to point out that Senegalia polyacantha (Type: http://herbarium.bgbm.org/object/BW19166010) is a synonym of S. catechu. Some State and District Floras recognized them as distinct species and provided keys highlighting the distinguishing characters. These differences however do not hold good. These Floras obviously had limited opportunities as they had examined a limited number of herbarium specimens within the boundaries of their study area and not exhibiting the range of variation of Senegalia catechu.
Who is th; is guy ? – indiantreepix | Google Groups : 4 images.
I liked your referrinng to the tree as “this Guy”! To me the Guy seems to be an “Avla” (“Ambla” in Gujarati). I forget the scientific name. The fruits are rich in Vitamin C.
I am sorry I overloked the inflorescence. No, this is not “Avla” though the leaves look very much as of that tree.
Not Avla atleast!!!
It could be Acacia suma [Acacia polycantha]. Have seen it in the Borivali National Park in Bombay.
The pictures were taken from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) Mohali, Punjab. the tree is in flowering these days it was procured by one of the garden supervisor on an impression that it is Acacia catechu but i think its not that species. note the difference in bark (very papery), Canopy (comparatively dense) and Spines on stem.
I used to know this tree as A. suma (Roxb.) Buch.-Ham. ex Voigt. on account of whitish flaky bark (As per t. Cooke’s flora) but the BSI flora has merged this with A. catechu which has dark coloured bark. Unless there are further changes this would be A. catechu (L.f.) Willd.
In Dr.Almeida’s ‘Flora of Maharashtra’ Vol 1, Acacia catechuoides [A.catechu] is distinct from Acacia polycantha [A.suma].
I have this tree in my farm (in Erode district, Tamil nadu). How it reached is not known. May be by my habit of collecting seeds when going in to the forest and throwing the same in the farm.
Tree for ID, Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh NAW-JUL18-01 : 23 posts by 6 authors. Kindly identify this tree with spines, photographed in july 2018, in the Anuppur basti nursery, Madhya Pradesh.
the last picture has ominous spines/thorns.
At the nursery, they called it ‘saama’ and said it is regarded as a holy tree.
acacia catechu ?
Acacia catechu has a very different bark, with vertical flakes.
Pl. check /species/a—l/f/fabaceae/senegalia
Please provide the close up of the flowers for proper ID.
I would request the respected members to kindly enlighten me by pointing out the differences of Senegalia polyacantha from Selegalia catechu and oblige.
My question remained unanswered. In fact Senegalia polyacantha is a synonym of S. catechu. I find no difference.
just from my observations i would say the catechu bark is stikingly different – it is medium grey brown with excessive narrow vertical flakes while this tree here has squarish papery flakes and a light under-bark.
Any further difference please.
You can see all our observations at and and co-relate them and give your final verdict being an expert in this area.
Please contact Mr. Anup Deshpandey for clarification in this regard who is pursuing his Ph D in Goa University on Souh Indian Acacias.
What … has told should be followed. My publication on the Indian Acacias is now obsolete.
It could be the suggested species.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to check the fruits for confirmation.
Thanks, …, In the keys given in Kshirsagar 2012: It states pinnae upto 20 in Senegalia polyacantha, while more than 20 in Senegalia catechu and S. chundra.
Is this holds true as these can be easily counted in our posts, while other aspects may be difficult to be observed?
Should I take this post also as Senegalia polyacantha as it has less than 20 pinnae ?
Keys w. r. t. no. of pinnae does not hold true as clarified by … in another thread.
Mimosaceae Tree for identification 190412MK03: Images not visible now.
Please help me to identify this tree species. Is this Acacia sp.? I could not see the flowers.
Leaves were of 12-15 cm longer (young leaves).
The height of the tree was up to 10 metres and a girth of about 50cm.
Location: Bommiampatty RF; Salem dist., TN
Terrain: scrub and thorny forest
Altitude: c. 410 M ASL
Date: 15 Apr 2012
Acacia polyacantha (syn. A.suma) There are four sup species. Check the characters and decide the sub sp.
Acacia suma. Now included into ?A.ferruginea.
Sending herewith the inflorescence of Acacia polycantha. Photo taken on April 10th 2011, Mysore city road.
Acacia For ID : MNP,Mumbai : 11AUG15 : AK-21 : 21/21 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5)
I think this should be Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger as it has less than 20 pinnae as per keys in the attachment at efi thread
Thanks … Hope to get it validated.
This tree seen earlier at MNP, Mumbai.
…, you had suggested Senegalia polyacantha.
Adding a picture showing the peeling bark of the same tree.
ID-TSP-12DEC2015-1: Fabaceae specimen for ID : 15 posts by 5 authors.
Kindly identify this specimen belonging to Fabaceae. Could this be Senegalia polycantha…???
Habit: Armed tree
Habitat: Dry deciduous forest
Sighting: Devarayanadurga, Tumkur, Karnataka, about 800 msl
This is Senegalia catechu.
Acacia chundra of Mimosaceae?
Yesterday I observed that this might be Senegalia catechu. After further search through literature, I find that the plants with armed stem may be regarded as a variant, or a distict species, on this character and the available name for this entity is Senegalia polycantha, which is, howerver, otherwise indistinguishable from S. catechu. This matter can be settled only by careful field studies of populations by some young and energetic person.
I am going through these images again and again and comparing them with the existing literature and data available to me. Once again, I am unable to distinguishing Acacia polyacantha with Acacia catechu. The cracks and fissures on the stem are usual in the latter and therefore I think it should be called Senegalia catechu, with S. polyacantha as its synonym.
interesting study by … in the first picture upon enlarging there is a thorn i think … in the branch that’s rising diagonally in the bottom of the picture and is ending with a couple of inflorescence a small red tipped thorn seems to be present
… do you have pictures of the thorns?
since Senegalia polycantha‘s colloquial names include claw thorn
Thanks … for the feed back. Unfortunately I do not have pictures other than the ones that I have uploaded. By the way, Burr -like thorns are visible in image no 2. Would this help…?
look at thorn in the link i gave and … gave a while back (same page)
the thorn is unmistakable. not nubs. real thorns.
so if you happen to be in the same part of the forest may be we get to see the thorns?
I will try to re-visit the next time I go there and get back to you.
So far as I understand, the basic difference between Senegalia and Vachellia is that in the former, there will be prickles scattered all over the branchlets while the stipules are modified into spines in the latter. Here, the spines that you mention in the link are the characters of Senegalia. Now coming back to the differences between S. catechu (formerly Acacia catechu) and S. polyacantha (formerly Acacia polyacantha), in my opinion, there is none but as per some sources, the main trunk should contain spines in case of polyacantha and this character of difference can be established and elucidated only through field observations on greater areas of distribution of the plants involved.
My observation over the years is that the spines or the thorns vanish with maturity…!
This strengthens my view that catechu and polyacantha are one and the same
Thanks to both … … you described the differences well. and point well taken for more study is needed.
I think this should be Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger as it has less than 20 pinnae as per keys in the attachment at efi thread
Yes sir. This is S. polyacantha. Please observe many single prickles in main trunk. The bark is white.
The length of the spike inflorescence is more compared to S. catechu and S. chundra.
Fabaceae – Mimosoideae – Bangalore – RA – Acacia catechu – Black Cutch Tree – Khair: Cutch tree is a small tree, growing 3-15 m high. The stem is dark brown to black, with rough bark which peels off in long strips in mature trees; young trees have corky bark. The fern-like leaves are 100-200 mm long and contain between 8 and 30 pairs of small leaves made up of numerous, oblong pairs of secondary leaflets 2-6 mm long. Glands occur on the stem below the first pair of leaves, and between the uppermost six pairs of leaves. Pairs of stout thorns up to 10 mm long are found at the base of each leaf. The flowers are white or pale yellow, about 3 mm long and bunched tightly together to form a cylindrical flower spike, 35-75 mm long, resembling a lamb’s tail. The brown, beaked seed pods are 50-125 mm long on a short stalk and contain between four and seven seeds, which are dark brown, flat and 5-8 mm in diameter. The taproot branches to 2 m depth
Acacia for ID : Lalbagh-Bangalore : 290412 : AK-3:
Yes it does appear to be Acacia catechu.
Old name Acacia polyacantha. Check for the latest name ! There are sub species. The peeling whitish bark (silvery) on the trunk is the characteristic feature. Please check. Very common in Bangalore and Mysore areas. Native species.
I shall be thankful if you could post the photographs of the trunk/ big branches with the bark.
Deciduous tree for ID ; Barvi, Badlapur- Maharashtra:
Found this strange looking huge tall tree near the administrative office of Barvi dam, Badlapur-Maharashtra. Kindly advice the ID.
This looks like is a species of Acacia possibly Acacia polycantha [A.suma].
what about acacia catechu ( खैर) ?
To me also this appears more like A. catechu..
I think it should be Senegalia polyacantha as per discussions at ID-TSP-12DEC2015-1: Fabaceae specimen for ID
Acacia chundra – efloraofindia | Google Groups : 10 posts by 7 authors. 1 + 2 images.
I am little bit confused with its id, are you sure it is Acacia chundra and not Acacia catechu.
In the year 1994, when I was DFO Narvada Velly Development Authority, we use to plant these two species. I think the new shoots (branchlets) in Acacia chundra is is always dark brown or red, that’s why it is called Lal Khair (red khair).
It is certainly A chundra. I am sending two more photos. the bark of chndra and catechu entirely differ. one gland on the petiole of chundra.
better you confirm this Acacia ferruginea(L.) Willd Local name – Kagar khair
Not A. ferruginea atleast, which has 4-6 pairs of pinnae and 15-30 pairs of leaflets. I think we have to choose between A. catechu and A. chundra which have 10-20 pairs of pinnae and 30-50 pairs if leaflets as seen in this plant.
I just had critical look at description of Mimosa sundra and M. catechu in Flora Indica of Roxburgh. According to it both have dark brown bark. The only two clear differences are prickles decurrent at base and 2-3 seeded lanceolate pods in M. sundra; M. catechu does not have decurrent prickles and most importantly pods are linear and 6-8 seeded.
it is Acacia chundra
I think it should be I think it should be Senegalia polyacantha as per details and keys herein.
Small Tree for ID : Rajpipla, Gujarat : 09DEC19 : AK-5 : 21 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (4)
Seen in Rajpipla during my visit in Nov,19
Some Acacia Species?
No flowers, only pods.
Pl. check comparative images at Acacia
Was it having any thorns ?
I could not see details properly due to small size images.
Can you post bigger size image pl. ?
With these could not find a match as per comparative images at Acacia. May be some Senegalia species.
Grossly it looks like Leucaena leucocephala
Thanks for suggested id. Although it looked a bit different to me.
Thanks, … But I doubt this being Albizia amara (Roxb.) B.Boivin
Here are the original images. Hope they are helpful.
I could not see any prickles in the images. Please confirm whether the prickles are present. If it is present, it should be in pairs near the nodes.
There are two possibilities. 1. Mostly it is some Albizia species. 2. It can be Senegalia chundra / S. catechu. Very rarely, some individuals of these two species do not have any prickles.
But, in my opinion, this is some Albizia species.
Thanks, …, I could see some prickles in this original image (attached).
So it may be Senegalia catechu
Thank you for image sir.
This is Senegalia polyacantha = Acacia polyacantha = Acacia suma.
You can see whitish bark. and prickles are there on main trunk / branch. When plant is old enough, the bark becomes papery and peeling. You can see the papery (small pieces) bark in this image also.
Acacia sp for id from Maihar forest area MP. Growing wildly shot on 26-1-12
flowers not there, fruits 8-10 cm
The bark of the tree resembles A.polyacantha. There are 4 sub species, I think.
Yes, it may be Senegalia polyacantha (Willd.) Seigler & Ebinger as per images and details herein.