The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Sweet Thorn

Afrikaans name: Soetdoring

Sweet Thorn

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acacia karroo

The Sweet Thorn tree is found over most of southern Africa from Angola to South Africa. It is found in various habitats but grows bigger in areas of higher rainfall.

In some areas the Sweet Thorn grows no bigger than a shrub and in others it can grow to a height of 12 metres.

The thorns are long and white and grow in pairs. The flowers of the Sweet Thorn are yellow.

The Sweet Thorn is used for a number of purposes but the most interesting use is making candy from the gum that seeps out of cracks in the bark.

Sweet Thorn

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildflowers of the Northern Cape - Author: Jill Adams - Published: 1976 - Page: 80

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 284

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 92

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 198

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Published: 1981 - Page: 49

Sasol First Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1999 - Page: 11

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 130

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 170

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 100

SA Wild Flower Guide No 6 - Karoo - Author: David Shearing & Katryn van Heerden - Published: 1997 - Page: 78

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 126

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2013 - Page: 34

Pollinators, Predators and Parasites - Author: C. Scholtz, J. Scholtz, H. De Klerk - Published: 2021 - Page: 219

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 67

Indigenous Beginnings - Author: Anneke Kearney - Published: 2008 - Page: 23

Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa - Author: Glenice Ebedes - Published: 2017 - Page: 52

Namaqualand in Flower - Author: Sima Eliovson - Published: 1972 - Page: 80

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 390

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 67

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 32

Field Guide to the Acacias of South Africa - Author: Nico Smit - Published: 2008 - Page: 34

Common Trees of the Highveld - Author: Drummond & Coates Palgrave - Published: 1973 - Page: 47

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 142


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