The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Knob Thorn tree

Afrikaans name: Knoppiesdoring

A Knob Thorn tree in Kruger National Park

Knob Thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acacia nigrescens

The Knob Thorn is a large tree that can reach up to 18 metres in height.

The common name refers to the thorns that are usually, but not always, found on the tree trunk. These thorns are like rounded lumps and not sharp thorns.

The Knob Thorn is quite common in Kruger National Park where a number of animals make use of it. Mammals such as Giraffe, Kudu and Elephant eat the leaves, branches and shoots. Some birds nest in holes in the Knob Thorn.

The wood is tough and is used for various purposes such as flooring and posts.

Leaves of a Knob Thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bark of a Knob Thorn tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 143

A site-by-site guide to trees in the Kruger National Park - Author: Marissa Greeff - Published: 2017 - Page: 24

Butterfly Gardening in South Africa - Author: Jill Reid - Published: 2000 - Page: 68

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 35

Field Guide to the Acacias of South Africa - Author: Nico Smit - Published: 2008 - Page: 98

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 69

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 252

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 69

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 100

Sappi Tree Spotting: Bushveld - 2nd edition - Author: R Grant and V Thomas - Published: 2005 - Page: 168

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 208

Sappi Tree Spotting: Lowveld - Author: Jacana - Published: 1997 - Page: 96

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 134

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Published: 1981 - Page: 51

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 292

Wild Issue 16 - Author: - Published: 2011 - Page: 8

Wild Issue 24 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 68


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