Scented Thorn

Scientific Name
Vachellia nilotica (L.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb. subsp. kraussiana (Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr.
Higher Classification
Acacia arabica (Lam.) Willd. var. kraussiana Benth., Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile subsp. kraussiana (Benth.) Brenan, Mimosa nilotica in sense of Thunb. (in part), in Prodr. Pl. Cap., 1800, not of L. (misapplied name)
Common Names
Black Thorn (e), Lekkerruikpeul (a), Moga (tw), Mogohlo (ns), Mokhi (tw), Mooka (ns), Motlhabakgôsi (tw), Motsha (tw), Motshi (tw), Red-heart Thorn-tree (e), Scented Pod (e), Scented Thorn (e), Snuifpeul (a), Stinkpeul (a), Swart-peuldoring (a), Swartsaadpeul (a), Umnqawe (z)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
This taxon is widespread, common and not in danger of extinction.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West
This taxon is widespread across Limpopo and northern North West Province, extending southwards through the Mpumalanga Lowveld to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. It also occurs in Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Dwarsberg-Swartruggens Mountain Bushveld, Subtropical Alluvial Vegetation, Polokwane Plateau Bushveld, Mamabolo Mountain Bushveld, Poung Dolomite Mountain Bushveld, Ohrigstad Mountain Bushveld, Sekhukhune Plains Bushveld, Makhado Sweet Bushveld, Zeerust Thornveld, Limpopo Sweet Bushveld, Pilanesberg Mountain Bushveld, Marikana Thornveld, Norite Koppies Bushveld, Moot Plains Bushveld, Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld, Mafikeng Bushveld, Makuleke Sandy Bushveld, Sekhukhune Mountain Bushveld, Andesite Mountain Bushveld, Maputaland Coastal Belt, Maputaland Wooded Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Thornveld, Lydenburg Thornveld, KwaZulu-Natal Highland Thornveld, Soutpansberg Mountain Bushveld, Gauteng Shale Mountain Bushveld, Kaalrug Mountain Bushveld, Central Sandy Bushveld, Loskop Mountain Bushveld, Loskop Thornveld, Springbokvlakte Thornveld, Western Sandy Bushveld, Waterberg Mountain Bushveld, Roodeberg Bushveld, Dwaalboom Thornveld, Tsende Mopaneveld, Tshokwane-Hlane Basalt Lowveld, Gabbro Grassy Bushveld, Gravelotte Rocky Bushveld, Tzaneen Sour Bushveld, Legogote Sour Bushveld, Musina Mopane Bushveld, Pretoriuskop Sour Bushveld, Mopane Basalt Shrubland, Crocodile Gorge Mountain Bushveld, Lowveld Rugged Mopaneveld, Phalaborwa-Timbavati Mopaneveld, Mopane Gabbro Shrubland, Thukela Valley Bushveld, Thukela Thornveld, KwaZulu-Natal Hinterland Thornveld, KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld, Limpopo Ridge Bushveld, Western Maputaland Clay Bushveld, Eastern Valley Bushveld, Barberton Serpentine Sourveld, Swaziland Sour Bushveld, Northern Lebombo Bushveld, Southern Lebombo Bushveld, Lebombo Summit Sourveld, Tembe Sandy Bushveld, Delagoa Lowveld, Nwambyia-Pumbe Sandy Bushveld, Granite Lowveld, Makatini Clay Thicket, Northern Zululand Sourveld, Zululand Lowveld, Zululand Coastal Thornveld, Maputaland Pallid Sandy Bushveld, Muzi Palm Veld and Wooded Grassland, Malelane Mountain Bushveld, Western Maputaland Sandy Bushveld
It occurs in dry thornveld, river valley scrub, woodland, bushveld and scrub.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Vachellia nilotica (L.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb. subsp. kraussiana (Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr.Least Concern 2015.1
Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile subsp. kraussiana (Benth.) BrenanLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

Brenan, J.P.M. 1970. Leguminosae. In: J.P.M. Brenan, A.W. Exell, A. Fernandes and H. Wild (eds). Flora Zambesiaca 3 (Part 1):7-138. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London.

Kyalangalilwa, B., Boatwright, J.S., Daru, B.H., Maurin, O. and van der Bank, M. 2013. Phylogenetic position and revised classification of Acacia s.l. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) in Africa, including new combinations in Vachellia and Senegalia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 172(4):500-523.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Ross, J.H. 1975. Fabaceae subfamily 1. Mimosoideae. In: B. De Winter, D.J.B. Killick, O.A. Leistner and J.H. Ross (eds). Flora of Southern Africa 16 Part 1:1-159. Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria.

Schmidt, E., Lotter, M. and McCleland, W. 2002. Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. Jacana, Johannesburg.

von Staden, L. 2020. Vachellia nilotica (L.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb. subsp. kraussiana (Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/19

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Distribution map

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

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