Acacia hebeclada (=Vachellia hebeclada) is a hardy, small to medium-sized, spreading, deciduous tree or large shrub with paired, sharp spines. The dark brown to grey bark is fissured and flaking.Birds, such as the Red-billed Wood Hoopoe, enjoy probing under the bark for insects.
The blue-green leaves are hairy and catch the sun. Mostly creamy-white, but sometimes pale-yellow, large, round puffball flowers, are scented and borne in large attractive clusters at the nodes of the leaves.
They adorn the tree from July to September and offer up a bounty of pollen and nectar to the numerous small pollinating insects and insectivorous birds that visit them. As the shoots age their colour changes giving the crown a lovely mottled look.
The large, distinctive pods stand upright and persist on the plant for a few seasons, hence the common name ‘Candle Thorn’. An ideal addition to a security hedge because of its height and ferocious thorns.
It is often referred to as ‘The House of the Lion’ as lions often shelter under it in the hot dry areas where this tree occurs.
Size: 4 to 7m