Acacia mellifera (Vahl) Benth.
subsp. detinens (Burch.) Brenan

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Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umguza Nature Reserve, Bulawayo.

Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umguza Nature Reserve, Bulawayo.

Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umguza Nature Reserve, Bulawayo.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Acacia detinens Burch.
Senegalia mellifera (Vahl) Seigler & Ebinger subsp. detinens (Burch.) Kyal. & Boatwr.
Common names: Black thorn (English) Katogwa (Ndebele) Muguhungu (Ndebele) Mukotokwa (Ndebele) Umngaga (Ndebele)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Young branches with distinct white lenticels; strongly hooked prickles in pairs at the nodes. Leaves c. 3 × 2 cm with 2-3 pairs of pinnae, each only with 1-2 pairs of leaflets; leaflets obovate, asymmetric, up to 2 × 1.5 cm, blue-green. Flowers in axillary clusters of subspherical or very shortly elongate heads, white, sweetly scented. Pod up to 9 × 2.5 cm, papery, straight, smooth, straw-coloured, dehiscent.
Notes: Somewhat similar to A. nigrescens but lacking the prickly knobs on the trunk. It has smaller, paler and papery pods and much shorter inflorescences. A. nigrescens does not have white lenticel markings on the young branches.
Derivation of specific name: mellifera: honey-bearing; referring to the fact that the flowers attract many bees;
detinens; detaining, holding back, referring to the fact that the strongly hooked thorns will catch anyone passing.
Habitat: In dry woodland and bush.
Altitude range: (metres) 300 - 1200 m
Flowering time:Jul - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From Tanzania to Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and northern South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 19 February 2016

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 67 - 68.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 160 - 162. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 214.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 241.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 381. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 168 - 169. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 60.

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999). Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare Pages 84 - 85. (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 210.


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Other sources of information about Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Caprivi: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Zambia: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

External websites:

African Plant Database: Acacia mellifera
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Acacia mellifera
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acacia mellifera
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Acacia mellifera
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Acacia mellifera
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Acacia mellifera
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acacia mellifera
Ispot Southern Africa : Acacia mellifera
JSTOR Plant Science: Acacia mellifera
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Acacia mellifera
Tropicos: Acacia mellifera
West African Plants database: Acacia mellifera

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens., retrieved 26 May 2016

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