Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Parkinsonia africana Sond.

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Parkinsonia africana

Image 1
Seed pods
13 Dec 2008

Parkinsonia africana

Image 2
17 Dec 2006

Parkinsonia africana

Image 3
Seed pods
17 Dec 2006

Parkinsonia africana

Image 4
17 Dec 2006

Parkinsonia africana

Image 5
Young plant showing
small leaves and spines
20 Dec 2006

Parkinsonia africana

Image 6
01 May 2006

Family: Fabaceae
Full name: Parkinsonia africana Sond.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): (Wilde) Groenhaarboom, Lemoenhout, Lemoendoring, Lemoendoringboom, Thaboom, Waterboom, Wildelemoen, Peulboom
English common name(s): (Wild) Green-hair tree
Synonym(s): -
Status: Native
Description: Virgately branched shrub or tree up to 6 m high, armed with stout spines which are modified lateral shoots and which are often branched and bear leaves and inflorescences; young branchlets pale greenish-yellow or yellowish-brown, becoming greyish- brown to grey or brown with age, subglabrous or occasionally finely pubescent when young. Leaves reduced to green pinnae-rhachillae (2)4-15 cm long, terete or subterete, slightly grooved on the upper surface, with up to 15 nodes but no leaflets or occasionally with minute inconspicuous scale-like linear or oblanceolate opposite leaflets up to 1.5 x 0.5. mm. Stipules inconspicuous, not spine-scent. Racemes lax, up to 18 cm long; bracts up to 1.5 mm long, ovate, soon deciduous. Flowers yellow, on pedicels 3-10 mm long (excluding the elongate lower part of the hypanthium). Receptacle consisting of a disc up to 3 mm in diameter and a lower elongate part up to 10 mm long which simulates the pedicel; the disc usually remaining in fruit to form a small collar. Sepals 5-8 mm long, narrowly-ovate to oblong, narrowly imbricate, becoming reflexed in flower, subglabrous or with short scattered hairs. Petals 7-12 mm long, the upper one larger than the others, with a distinct claw and a reniform lamina; the other petals ovate-lanceolate. Stamens up to 12 mm long, filaments densely pubescent below; anthers 1-1.7 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with few scattered hairs, especially on the margins. Pods brown, (3.5)5-13 cm long, 0.6-0.95 cm wide, linear, straight or curved and sometimes falcate, attenuate at both ends, flattened, often somewhat constricted between the seeds, glabrous, longitudinally venose, indehiscent or perhaps very tardily dehiscent. Seeds 7-9.5 X 5-6 x 2-3 mm, oblong, elongated longitudinally in the pods, mottled, light brown with dark brown markings, smooth. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

flexuous, divaricately branched, glabrous and glaucous, spiniferous; leaves 3 or more from the axils of horizontal spines; common petiole semiterete, wingless, channelled, taper-pointed; leaflets opposite, very minute, oblong, acute; racemes axillary and terminal, laxly 6–10-flowered; pedicels bracteate at base; calyx puberulous; legumes linear-lanceolate, narrowed at base and apex, finely striate, 8-seeded, seeds oblong, obtuse, shining. A tall bush, called 'Wilde Limoenhout' by the colonists. Branches pale yellowish, spreading subhorizontally, flexuous, tapering, the younger minutely downy. Leaves juncoid, the petiole 4–5 inches long; leaflets in 8–10 distant pairs, 0.5–1 line long, very narrow. Racemes 2–3 inches long, spreading; the peduncle rigid; pedicels 4–6 lines long. Calyx coloured, with a short downy tube and oblong, deciduous limb. Filaments hairy at base. Petals yellow. Legumes 4–5 inches long, 4–5 lines wide, contracted and compressed between the seeds. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Usually a thin-stemmed, scraggly shrub. BARK smooth, pale brown to yellow-green. THORNS straight, yellow-green to pale brown. LEAVES compound; leaflets pale yellow-green, tiny or absent; rachis appearing as a long, green thread. FLOWERS yellow, up to 15 mm in diameter. FRUIT a slender pod, straight to slightly sickle-shaped, somewhat constricted between seeds and flattened; usually not splitting open. Flowers and fruit are conspicuous. (from Tree Atlas of Namibia)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iSpot:  233567 
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 21 Mar 2018

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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