FZ volume:3 part:1 (1970) Leguminosae by J.P.M. Brenan
(Search other Kew databases for: Acacia caffra)
Acacia caffra (Thunb.) Willd.
in L., Sp. Pl. ed. 4, 4: 1078 (1806). — Burtt Davy, F.P.F.T. 2: 337, fig. 55 (1932). — O. B. Mill., B.C.L.: 17 (1948); in Journ. S. Afr. Bot. 18: 19 (1952). — Codd, Trees & Shrubs Kruger Nat. Park: 42 (1951). — Young in Candollea, 15: 102 (1955). — Brenan in Kew Bull. 11: 193 (1956). — Palmer & Pitman, Trees of S. Afr.: 150 cum fig., t. 4 (1961). — Boughey in Journ. S. Afr. Bot. 30: 157 (1964). — de Winter, de Winter & Killick, Sixty-six Transvaal Trees: 44 cum photogr. (1966). Type from S. Africa.
Acacia caffra var. rupestris Sim
For. Fl. Port. E. Afr.: 56 (1909). Type: Mozambique, Marracuene and Lourenço Marques, Sim 6235 (not seen, location doubtful).
Acacia caffra var. tomentosa Glover
in Ann. Bolus Herb. 1: 146 (1915). — Young in Candollea, 15: 107 (1955). Syntypes from S. Africa (Natal and Transvaal).
sensu O. B. Mill. in Journ. S. Afr. Bot. 18: 23 (1952) pro parte saltem quoad specim. Miller B/950.
Mimosa caffra Thunb.
Prodr. Pl. Cap. 2: 92 (1800). Type as above.
SE: Kgatla Distr., Sikwani, fl. 13.x.1955, Reyneke 420 (K; PRE).
M: between Boane and Impamputo, fl. 8.xi.1961, Lemos & Balsinhas in Lemos 213 (BM; COI; K; LISC; LMJ; PRE; SRGH).
South Africa; Swaziland;
Ecology uncertain in our area: recorded from woodland and dry rocky hills c. 1070–1220 m.
A shrub or tree 2-10 m. high, not climbing; bark rough, scaly, dark-grey to brown; young branchlets varying from subglabrous with a little puberulence to densely spreading-pubescent or even (though not in our area) tomentose. Stipules not spinescent, subulate-linear. Prickles in pairs just below the nodes, patent to ± hooked, up to 7 mm. long, often sparse; occasionally with a few additional prickles scattered elsewhere on the stem. Leaves: petiole (1)1·3-3·5 cm. long; rhachis 3-19 cm. long, prickly or unarmed; gland on petiole present or absent, 0·75-1·75 mm. long, also with glands between top 1-4 pairs of pinnae; pinnae (4)6-27 pairs; leaflets 13-57 pairs, 2-7(10) x 0·6-1·5(2·5) mm., glabrous or with some appressed or spreading cilia on the margins or (but not in our area) densely hairy on the margins and ± so on the lower surface, rounded to obtuse at the apex, with midrib and often also lateral nerves usually rather prominent beneath. Flowers creamy-yellow to white, sessile, in spikes (2)4-10 cm. long on peduncles (0·5)1-3 cm. long; axis ± densely puberulous to pubescent or tomentose, also glandular. Calyx 2-3 mm. long, rather densely puberulous to pubescent, 2/3-5/6 as long as the corolla. Corolla 2·5-3·5 mm. long, ± puberulous to pubescent on the outside of the lobes. Stamen-filaments 6-7 mm. long; anthers 0·15 mm. across, with a caducous gland. Ovary glabrous, shortly stipitate. Pods brown, dehiscent, 6-17 x 0·9-1·5(1·9) cm., puberulous, rarely pubescent, and with sparse to dense reddish-brown glands over the surface, linear, straight to ± curved, acute to attenuate at the base and apex. Seeds 8-10 x 7-8 mm., flattened; central areole small, 2-3 x 2-2·7 mm.
A. caffra only just reaches the southernmost parts of our area. In S. Africa it becomes very variable, particularly in indumentum but also in number of pinnae and size of leaflets. Some varieties have been described but they do not appear to correspond with any clearly defined taxonomic entities.A. caffra is normally clearly separated from A. ataxacantha by having paired not scattered prickles, but when, as occasionally happens, a few scattered prickles are additionally present, confusion is possible, though A. caffra can always be recognized by the glabrous not pubescent ovary and by the calyx being considerably larger in proportion to the corolla.