The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Paperbark Thorn

Afrikaans name: Papierbasdoring

Paperbark Thorn

Paperbark Thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acacia sierberiana

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

References and further reading

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

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 284

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

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 102

Indigenous Beginnings - Author: Anneke Kearney - Published: 2008 - Page: 24

Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa - Author: Glenice Ebedes - Published: 2017 - Page: 53

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 75

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 75

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 159

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

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

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


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