Vachellia drepanolobium (Y.Sjöstedt) P.J.H.Hurter, Pl.-Book (ed. 3) 1021 2008. (syn: Acacia drepanolobium Harms ex Y.Sjöstedt);
Vachellia drepanolobium (syn. Acacia drepanolobium), commonly known as Whistling Thorn (family Fabaceae), is a swollen-thorn vachellia native to East Africa. The whistling thorn grows up to 6 meters tall. It produces a pair of straight thorns at each node, some of which have large bulbous bases. These swollen thorns are naturally hollow and occupied by any one of several symbiotic ant species. The common name of the plant is derived from the observation that when wind blows over bulbous thorns in which ants have made entry/exit holes, they create a whistling noise.
Whistling thorn is the dominant tree in some areas of upland East Africa, sometimes forming a nearly monoculture woodland, especially on “black cotton” soils of impeded drainage with high clay content. It is browsed upon by giraffes and other large herbivores. It is apparently fire-adapted, coppicing readily after “top kill” by fire.
Whistling thorn is used as fencing, tool handles, and other implements. The wood of the Whistling Thorn, although usually small in diameter, is hard and resistant to termites. The branches can also be used for kindling, and its gum is sometimes collected and used as glue. The ability to coppice after cutting make it a possibly sustainable source for fuel wood and charcoal. Conversely, Whistling Thorn also has been considered a weed of rangelands, and a bush encroachment species.
(From Wikipedia on 5.10.16)
Whistling Thorn Acacia : Vachellia drepanolobium : Kenya : 29SEP16 : AK-8 : 08/08 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (7)
Sharing a Species of Acacia.
A new addition to Eflora.
Pictures taken on 5th July in Kenya