Additional notes (click to expand)

Other use

Acacia karroo Hayne – Sweet-thorn; Karoo thorn. Small tree. Distribution Southern Angola, east to Mozambique, south to South Africa. This tree is festooned with fearsome thorns, and, just before the rainy season starts, it produces poisonous sap; the slightest graze from a thorn at this time causes swelling and pain for several days. The bush people of the northeast district of Namibia use its sap in an arrow poison, adding it to the larva of Diamphidia – which is also poisonous. Its active ingredients are cyanogenic glycosides – which produce cyanide on hydrolysis. The bark contains tannins, which have been implicated in carcinogenesis. Acacia karoo produces Cape Gum, which is used in pharmaceutical preparations and to treat diarrhoea. Used to make rope from the bark, gum to make candy, fodder for animals, charcoal.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry F. (2013). Wellcome Library notes. link

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, South Tropical Africa
  • Africa, Southern Africa

Acacia karroo (Hayne) Banfi & Galasso

Family: MIMOSACEAE
Genus: Acacia
Species: karroo (Hayne) Banfi & Galasso
Common names: Cape Gum Tree
Distribution summary: Africa
Habit: Shrub
Habitat: Rocky areas in sparse forests, grassland and open bushland
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Southern Hemisphere Wolfson bed (N)
Reason for growing: Medicinal


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