Acacia seyal (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Acacia senegal
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Acacia seyal (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Acacia sieberiana

Acacia seyal (Fabaceae, indigenous)

Common names

  • English: White-galled acacia, White whistling thorn
  • Afargna: Adiquento, Makani
  • Amargna: Wachu
  • Borenagna: Wocha‑adi, Wacho dima
  • Oromugna: Wosiya wajo, Wakko-dimo, Wajjo, Wajji, Wachu
  • Somaligna: Fulay
  • Tigrigna: Qeyeh-chea, Tseada-chea
  • Wolaytgna: Fundukiya


A typical savanna acacia. Widespread in semi-arid areas of Africa from senegal to Egypt and south to Malawi and Zimbabwe. In Ethiopia,it is found in seasonally flooded black‑cotton soil, in river valleys and wooded grassland of Dry and Moist Kolla and Weyna Dega agroclimatic zones in Gonder, Gojam, Shoa, Arsi, Harerge, Ilubabor, Kefa, Sidamo, western Tigray and western Welo regions, 500–2,100 m.


Firewood, charcoal, poles, posts, medicine (bark, gum), fodder (leaves), bee forage, shade, nitrogen fixation, soil conservation, windbreak, gum, tannin (bark), dye (bark).


A small to medium sized tree, up to 9 m, rather thin with layered branches or small, more rounded.

  • BARK: Distinctive powdery, white to pale green or orange‑red, often peeling to reveal greenish underbark.
  • THORNS: Wide-angled pairs of strong white thorns to 8 cm. In subspecies fistula the bases of a pair swollen to form round ant galls.
  • LEAVES: Compound, 3–7 pairs of pinnae, raised glands just visible on leaf stalk.
  • FLOWERS: Fragrant, bright yellow in round heads over 1 cm across, several beside the thorns.
  • FRUIT: Bunches of narrow, curved pods 7–20 cm, shiny light brown, narrowed between seeds, splitting open on the tree.


Seedlings, wildings.


About 20,000 seed per kg.

  • Treatment: Not necessary for fresh seed. Nick stored seed or soak in cold water for 24 hours.
  • Storage: Seed can be stored for long periods if kept cool, dry and insect free.


Medium to fast growing; lopping, pollarding, coppicing.


Two varieties are recognized in Ethiopia. It is recommended for planting along stream banks. The Borena people extract a red dye from the bark. In western Ethiopia, the tree is widely used to shade coffee. The gum is not as good as that of Acacia senegal.