Ebutsini Thorn

Scientific Name
Vachellia ebutsiniorum (P.J.H.Hurter) Kyal. & Boatwr.
Higher Classification
Acacia ebutsiniorum P.J.H.Hurter
Common Names
Ebutsini Thorn (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered D
Assessment Date
M. Lötter, J.E. Burrows, L. von Staden & D. Raimondo
Known from a single, stable subpopulation of about 120 individuals. It may decline in future if the current low pressure of firewood collecting is to increase.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
KaNgwane Montane Grassland
Exposed, open grassland, on steep, southeast-facing slopes, apparently on serpentine soils, 1 100 m.
The species was discovered with the aid of the Ebutsini tribe, who live close to the area where this tree occurs (Hurter and Van Wyk 2004). They use this particular piece of land for muthi and firewood harvesting. According to M. Lötter (pers. obs.), currently only branches are cut from mature trees, but the trees themselves are not cut down. Should pressure on resources increase in future, they may start to cut down whole trees, thus the population should be monitored for any signs of decline. However, firewood collecting is at present only a potential threat that may lead to sporadic losses of individuals.

There is one known subpopulation of approximately 120 mature individuals.

Population trend
Not currently conserved in any formally protected area.
It is uncertain whether this species occurs in Swaziland as well the single known population occurs less than 5 km from the border of Swaziland. M. Lötter, who has visited the population, estimates that there is probably not similar suitable habitat in Swaziland, as the altitude increases sharply beyond the border, and the geology is very variable. Hurter and Van Wyk (2004) believe this species might be a serpentine specialist.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Vachellia ebutsiniorum (P.J.H.Hurter) Kyal. & Boatwr.EN D2015.1
Acacia ebutsiniorum P.J.H.HurterEN DRaimondo et al. (2009)

Hurter, P.J.H. and van Wyk, A.E. 2004. A new species of Acacia (Mimosoideae) from Mpumalanga, South Africa: Acacia ebutsiniorum. Bothalia 34(1):42-44.

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.

Lötter, M., Burrows, J.E., von Staden, L. & Raimondo, D. 2006. Vachellia ebutsiniorum (P.J.H.Hurter) Kyal. & Boatwr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/19

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Distribution map

© M. Lötter

© M. Lötter

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

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