Young Camel thorn tree in the Sossusvlei region of Namibia Leaves of the Kameel Doring Seed pods of the Acacia Erioloba Camel thorn flowers

Family: Mimosoideae

Scientific Name: Acacia erioloba

Common names: Camel thorn, Kameel-doring in Afrikaans.

SANTN: 168

Description: The Camel-thorn can range from 2 m up to 20m high, it can be scrubby or a massive tree. The bark is grey to blackish brown, deeply furrowed, young branches a reddish brown. The spines is strongly developed, almost straight up to 6 cm in length with swollen bases, white or brown. The flowers is a bright yellow ball and can be seen between July to December.

Medical uses: Ear infections can be treated with the dried powder of the pods. The gum can be used for the treatment of gonorrhoea, and the pulverized burned bark can be used to treat headache. The root can be used to treat Tuberculosis and also tooth ache. The debarked root is boiled for a few minutes and the infusion are swirl around in the mouth and spit out. For TB the same infusion are drink in the morning, noon and evening until the TB are cured. Every few days a new brew must be made.

Superstition uses: It is believed that lighting will strike at the Camel thorn more readily than other trees.

Nutritive uses: The seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee, the gum are also eaten by humans as well as animals.

Other uses: The rood bark is also used by the San / Bushmen to make quivers to hold their arrows. All animals love to eat the seed pods, which is high in plant fat.

Interesting Facts: National tree of Namibia

Credits: Christian Fourie.