The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Bushveld Albizia

Afrikaans name: Bleekblaarboom

Leaves of a Bushveld Albizia

Leaves of the Bushveld Albizia tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Albizia harveyi

The Bushveld Albizia is also known as the Common False-thorn or Bushveld False-thorn. It is a slender tree and normally it only reaches a height of between 8 and 11 metres, but it can grow to a height of 15 metres in ideal conditions. It often grows near termitaria. In South Africa it is only found in the eastern parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The bark of the Bushveld Albizia is very rough with deep furrows that run longitudinally. It is generally grey in colour with some brown sections. The leaves are compound with lots of leaflets. The tiny leaflets have a "hook" on the end. During spring the tree gets its fluffy white flowers. The fruit takes the shape of a long (up to 18 cm), narrow seedpod. These are on the tree between May and August. Unlike the Acacias, which are similar in form, this tree does not have thorns.

Bark of a Bushveld Albizia

Bark of the Bushveld Albizia tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

These trees are drought resistant, fast growing and can handle hot environments. They are a good tree to choose as a bonsai tree. In fact, seeds are commonly advertised on sites such as eBay where it is sold as a houseplant or specimen for a conservatory. Some mammals feed on the leaves and seedpods of this tree. The wood of this tree is not often used in the production of furniture.

References and further reading

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 56

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 260

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2013 - Page: 29

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 56


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