The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Mountain False-thorn / Rock Albizia

Afrikaans name: Rotsvalsdoring

Leaves of the Mountain False-thorn

Mountain False-thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Albizia brevifolia

The Mountain False-thorn is also known as the Rock Albizia. 10 metres is about the maximum height that it attains but it is often more shrub-like.

In South Africa they mainly occur in the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces where they prefer dry, stony hillsides. Beyond our borders this tree is found in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.

The Mountain False-Thorn has a rather sparse crown. The bark can be grey to almost black in colour, and often has rectangular segments. The compound leaves are nearly as wide as they are long. They consist of approximately 20 pairs of small leaflets, each of which is up to 8 mm in length. They are bluish green in colour.

The small creamy, or yellowish, flowers occur in late spring or early summer. The seedpods, which can be over 25 cm in length, are on the tree between January and April. They are pale brown in colour and are twisted.

In Kruger National Park the tree is browsed by Elephants and Giraffes. The wood of the Mountain False-thorn is heavy and is used to make handles for axes and picks.

References and further reading

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 259

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 53

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 53


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