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)
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.
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: 300 - 1200 m
Flowering time:Jul - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From Tanzania to Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and northern South Africa.
Mozambique distribution: T
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 5 January 2015

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

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 203. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 2.

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).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 106 - 107. (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.

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 Zambia: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens., retrieved 21 May 2019

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