Scientific Name: Acacia erubscens
Common names: Blue thorn, (Blou-haak in Afrikaans)
Description: A small to medium sized tree, can reach up to 10m, sometimes shrubby, occurring in woodland and dry thorn-veld. Bark is scaly or papery (photo far right), and often peeling. Peelings a smoky-grey or greyish-yellow in colour. Leaves are small, 3 to 7 pairs of pinnate, each bearing 10 to 20 pairs of leaflets. Flowers in short white brushes up to 4,5cm long, sometimes slightly tinged with pink in August to September. Fruit is a straight light brown seed-pod, and can be seen from September to January.
Medical uses: non recorded.
Nutritive uses: The gum is edible and taste slightly sweet. Baboons and Bush-babies feed on the gum.
Other uses: The leaves and seed-pods are a favourite food for goats on farms in the dry regions of Namibia.
Interesting Facts: In northern Namibia it is harvested and made into charcoal.
Credits: Christian Fourie.