1 Jun 2020

Umbrella Thorn Acacia tortilis – Talea Valley

Whilst birding the Talea Valley we came across a number of large flowering
Umbrella Thorn Acacia tortilis. It is a common species in Saudi Arabia and it thrives in semi-arid and arid zones particularly where sandy substrate is present. Among the many species of acacia, Acacia tortilis is a major component of the vegetation of the, mountains, coastal and inland plains of Saudi Arabia. The flowering period varies between years and locations, related to the climatic conditions. They are an extremely important plant for honey production in the Asir region. A. tortilis is very distinctive and easily recognised, with the characteristic mixture of long straight spines and shorter hooked ones combined with spirally twisted or contorted pods. Over most of its range the characteristically flattened crown has given it the popular name of Umbrella Thorn; however, this is usually not the shape in the subsp. Raddiana which occurs also in Saudi Arabia. Generally, the foliage is smaller than in many acacias, and the whitish flowers in small round heads are also characteristic, though this is a feature shared with other Acacia species.
Umbrella Thorn Acacia tortilis

Umbrella Thorn Acacia tortilis

Umbrella Thorn Acacia tortilis

5 comments:

  1. That was an informative article. I have come across these plants in abundance in parts of Rajasthan, India, though I have not gotten the opportunity to watch the bloomed acacias ever. I have heard that this plant is excellent for nitrogen-fixing in the soil also! Thanks for the great pictures once again, Jem.

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