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Senegalia Polyacantha (Mthethe)

Locally known as Mthethe, it is also known as White Thorn.


From the Useful Tropical Plants Database

It is a fast-growing, deciduous tree growing about 10 – 25 metres tall. The tree has short, hooked thorns (prickles), usually less than 1cm long.

The tree is harvested from the wild as a lesser important but still commercial source of gum, which is edible. It is also used locally as a medicine and source of materials, whilst it also has a good reputation for repelling snakes and crocodiles. The plant is grown as a hedge and also for improving soil fertility.


Pertinent features

  • indigenous
  • nitrogen fixation
  • medicinal use
  • termite-resistant hardwood
  • grown from seedlings and direct planting


A good summary of the tree can be seen in a video by Gus Le Breton the African Plant Hunter