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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Paperbark Thorn

Afrikaans name:

Paperbark Thorn

Paperbark Thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Vepris lanceolata

The Paperbark Thorn belongs to the Acacia family and is one of the flat-topped Acacias. In some places it is known as the Paperbark Acacia. Despite varying in height from 7 to 17 metres it always has its flat top. It is normally found in woodland or near river courses. It generally prefers damper areas. In South Africa it occurs in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng. The bark is light brown or yellowish in colour. In common with other Acacias it has compound leaves. The flowers appear in spring. They are round in shape and either cream or white in colour and show some yellow at the base. The seedpods can be 20 cm or more in length and are slender. Some species of game, and livestock, eat the mature seedpods. The thorns on the Paperbark Thorn are strong and can reach 10 cm in length.

Leaves

Leaves

Photo © Steven Herbert

Seedpods

Seedpods

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 141

Common Trees of the Highveld - Author: Drummond & Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1973 - Page: 50

Field Guide to the Acacias of South Africa - Author: Nico Smit - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 58

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 75

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Year Published: 2004? - Page: 284

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 138

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 299

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