Acacia abyssinica (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Acacia abyssinica (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Acacia albida

Acacia abyssinica subsp. abyssinica (Fabaceae, indigenous)

Common names

  • English: Umbrella thorn, Flat-top acacia
  • Afargna: Keselto
  • Agewgna: Tsatsi
  • Amargna: Bazra girar
  • Gamogna: Dhaze
  • Sahogna: Siba
  • Tigrigna: Cheha
  • Wolaytgna: Odorwa


Found in Africa from Ethiopia south to Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In Ethiopia it occurs in wooded grassland, highland forest edges of Dry, Moist and Wet Weyna Dega and Wet and Moist Dega agroclimatic zones of Gonder, Gojam, Wolega, Bale, Arsi, Ilubabor, Kefa, Sidamo, western Tigray and Shoa regions, 1,500–2,800 m.


Firewood, charcoal, poles, posts, tool handles, food (edible gum), medicine, fodder, bee forage, shade (for cattle), nitrogen fixation, soil conservation, fence (cut branches).


A large flat‑topped tree to 20 m when mature.

  • BARK: Rough, grooved, dark brown.
  • THORNS: Very variable, short or long, sometimes none.
  • LEAVES: Compound, 15–36 pairs of pinnae when mature, on a stalk to 9 cm, leaflets tiny.
  • FLOWERS: Very many, round heads of cream flowers, buds pink-red.
  • FRUIT: Pods to 12 cm, usually straight, red-grey-brown, splitting to set free seed.


Seedlings, direct sowing at site, wildings.


Seed quite small, highly susceptible to beetle attack while still in pods as well as after extraction. 16,000–18,000 seed per kg.

  • Treatment: Soak in hot water for a minute, allow to cool and soak for 36–48 hours. Damaged seeds that float should be discarded.
  • Storage: Seed can be stored for long periods if kept in a cool, dry and insect‑free place. Add ash to reduce risk to insect damage.


Growth rate is medium to fast. Coppices when young. Can be lopped and pollarded.


Spreading roots make it unsuitable for planting near buildings. Drought tolerant, will grow on degraded land and along gullies. It makes good firewood but the hard wood is difficult to work.