Acacia xanthophloea Benth.

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Acacia xanthophloea

Photo: Mark Hyde
By Mazowe River, Hippo Pools

Acacia xanthophloea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Runde River at old bridge, Chiredzi District.

Acacia xanthophloea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Runde River at old bridge, Chiredzi District.

Acacia xanthophloea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Doon Estate, Msasa, Harare

Acacia xanthophloea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Doon Estate, Msasa, Harare

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

Synonyms: Vachellia xanthophloea (Benth.) P.J.H. Hurter
Common names: Fever tree (English) Fever-tree thorn (English) Jelenga (Hlengwe)
Status: Native
Medium-sized deciduous tree. Bark very distinctive, smooth, greenish-yellow or yellow, powdery. Thorns straight, up to 7 cm, white, in pairs at the nodes. Leaves often clustered on short lateral shoots, 4-6 pairs of pinnae. Leaflets in 10-17 pairs per pinna, small, pale yellow-green. Flowers in axillary clusters of pale yellow spherical heads. Pods straight, papery with a wavy margin, indehiscent.
Notes: This tree has been commonly planted around Harare in streets, parks and gardens. Many of these trees are bearing creamy-white flowers. Apparently the seeds from which these trees have been grown were imported from East Africa, where this colour form has been recorded. Acacia xanthophloea is unique within this genus in being variable in flower colour, ranging from creamy-white, pinkish, purplish to pale or golden-yellow. In southern Africa however, only pale to golden-yellow flowers are known from wild populations.
Derivation of specific name: xanthophloea: with yellow bark. The English name 'Fever-tree' comes from its historic association with malaria areas.
Habitat: In marshy areas and along floodplains, often in large stands
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 500 m
Flowering time:Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From Somalia to KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland
Zimbabwe distribution: E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 10 October 2015

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Page 96.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 188. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 303. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 215.

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

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 166 - 167. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 61.

Setshogo, M.P. & Venter, F. (2003). Trees of Botswana: names and distribution SABONET Report No. 18 Southern African Botanical Diversity Network, Pretoria Page 66.

Timberlake, J., Fagg, C. & Barnes, R. (1999). Field Guide to the Acacias of Zimbabwe CBC Publishing, Harare Pages 138 - 139. (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 498 - 499. (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (2013). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Second edition) Struik, South Africa Pages 594 - 595. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Acacia xanthophloea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acacia xanthophloea
Flora of Malawi: Acacia xanthophloea
Flora of Mozambique: Acacia xanthophloea
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acacia xanthophloea

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Acacia xanthophloea
African Plant Database: Acacia xanthophloea
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Acacia xanthophloea
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Acacia xanthophloea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acacia xanthophloea
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Acacia xanthophloea
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Acacia xanthophloea
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Acacia xanthophloea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Acacia xanthophloea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acacia xanthophloea
Ispot Southern Africa: Acacia xanthophloea
JSTOR Plant Science: Acacia xanthophloea
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Acacia xanthophloea
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Acacia xanthophloea
The Plant List (version 1.1): Acacia xanthophloea
Tropicos: Acacia xanthophloea

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Acacia xanthophloea., retrieved 24 May 2019

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