Acacia karroo (= Vachellia karroo) is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast-growing and drought-resistant tree.
Abundant, fragrant, yellow puffball flowers light up the landscape, and adorn the tree intermittently (in response to rain) throughout summer. It can flower up to 6 times a year.
These are followed by thin, grey-brown sickle shaped pods that split to release smooth, hard little seeds.
It is a host to various butterflies and attracts a multitude of insects and therefore also attracts many birds. It is also favoured by bush babies. The roots host nitrogen fixers and make this tree ideal for planting on disturbed and poor soils. For the environmentally conscious this tree is a must.
Children chew the gum, which is also used as glue. It has many medicinal and household uses.
As this tree occurs naturally throughout Sub Saharan Africa, the size and hardiness is very variable. As a rule of thumb, the darker the bark the more frost hardy the plant. This also makes the size of the tree hard to predict in horticulture, unless it is known exactly where the seed comes from. It is not suggested that this tree be planted in small gardens.
Acacia (Vachellia) karroo is a good bonsai subject.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 15m