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Key Facts
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Distribution
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All Species
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More Genus
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Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees (Vachellia)
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, thorn trees live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.
Lifespan
Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree
info

Key Facts About Thorn trees

Attributes of Thorn trees

Leaf type
Evergreen

Scientific Classification of Thorn trees

distribution

Distribution of Thorn trees

Distribution Map of Thorn trees

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
species

Exploring the Thorn trees Plants

8 most common species:
Vachellia farnesiana
Sweet acacia
Sweet acacia (Vachellia farnesiana) is a perennial evergreen shrub that can grow to be 2.5 to 6 m tall and 1.8 to 3 m wide. It produces fragrant, showy yellow flowers and brown fruit. It is armed with thorns on its branches and trunk. This species is salt tolerant and prefers sandy soil with a good alkaline balance. Sweet acacia attracts pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
Vachellia karroo
Sweet thorn
Sweet thorn (Vachellia karroo) is deeply embedded in the history and culture of South Africa, with Zulu people using its wood for fencing, rafts, and even sewing needles. Though named for its thorns, sweet thorn also grows undeniably cheerful, bright yellow, pom-pom-like flowers in the early summer.
Vachellia constricta
Whitethorn Acacia
Whitethorn Acacia, or Vachellia constricta, is a shrubby tree native to the southwestern United States and into Mexico. It is often used in native desert gardens or cultivated as an ornamental tree or hedge.
Vachellia rigidula
Blackbrush acacia
The blackbrush acacia (Vachellia rigidula) is a deciduous shrub native to northern Mexico and southern Texas. Its thorny branches make it useful to form barrier hedges, and it is also planted as an attractive ornamental. Its bushy, fragrant flowers attract nectar-drinking birds and insects, including honeybees.
Vachellia cornigera
Bullhorn acacia
Bullhorn acacia (Vachellia cornigera) is a tree native to Central America named for the horn-shaped spines found on its branches. The hollow spines shelter ant colonies that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the tree. These ants defend the tree from herbivores and the tree grows detachable nutrient-rich pods on which the ants feed.
Vachellia nilotica
Gum arabic tree
Gum arabic tree (Vachellia nilotica) is a useful tree, with its distinctive yellow pom-pom flowers, and is also used as a forage plant. However, gum arabic tree has been so effective in countries where it has been introduced that it is classified as an invasive species in both Australia and the US.
Vachellia tortilis
Umbrella thorn acacia
Found throughout Africa and into the Arabian Peninsula, umbrella thorn acacia (Vachellia tortilis) thrives in desert conditions, and its pods and leaves provide much needed food for desert animals. It is named for its umbrella shape and the thorns that grow in pairs along its branches. Many birds next in the umbrella thorn acacia, using the thorns and high branches for protection.
Vachellia campeachiana
Vachellia campeachiana
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, vachellia campeachiana live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.

All Species of Thorn trees

Sweet acacia
Vachellia farnesiana
Sweet acacia
Sweet acacia (Vachellia farnesiana) is a perennial evergreen shrub that can grow to be 2.5 to 6 m tall and 1.8 to 3 m wide. It produces fragrant, showy yellow flowers and brown fruit. It is armed with thorns on its branches and trunk. This species is salt tolerant and prefers sandy soil with a good alkaline balance. Sweet acacia attracts pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
Sweet thorn
Vachellia karroo
Sweet thorn
Sweet thorn (Vachellia karroo) is deeply embedded in the history and culture of South Africa, with Zulu people using its wood for fencing, rafts, and even sewing needles. Though named for its thorns, sweet thorn also grows undeniably cheerful, bright yellow, pom-pom-like flowers in the early summer.
Whitethorn Acacia
Vachellia constricta
Whitethorn Acacia
Whitethorn Acacia, or Vachellia constricta, is a shrubby tree native to the southwestern United States and into Mexico. It is often used in native desert gardens or cultivated as an ornamental tree or hedge.
Blackbrush acacia
Vachellia rigidula
Blackbrush acacia
The blackbrush acacia (Vachellia rigidula) is a deciduous shrub native to northern Mexico and southern Texas. Its thorny branches make it useful to form barrier hedges, and it is also planted as an attractive ornamental. Its bushy, fragrant flowers attract nectar-drinking birds and insects, including honeybees.
Bullhorn acacia
Vachellia cornigera
Bullhorn acacia
Bullhorn acacia (Vachellia cornigera) is a tree native to Central America named for the horn-shaped spines found on its branches. The hollow spines shelter ant colonies that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the tree. These ants defend the tree from herbivores and the tree grows detachable nutrient-rich pods on which the ants feed.
Gum arabic tree
Vachellia nilotica
Gum arabic tree
Gum arabic tree (Vachellia nilotica) is a useful tree, with its distinctive yellow pom-pom flowers, and is also used as a forage plant. However, gum arabic tree has been so effective in countries where it has been introduced that it is classified as an invasive species in both Australia and the US.
Umbrella thorn acacia
Vachellia tortilis
Umbrella thorn acacia
Found throughout Africa and into the Arabian Peninsula, umbrella thorn acacia (Vachellia tortilis) thrives in desert conditions, and its pods and leaves provide much needed food for desert animals. It is named for its umbrella shape and the thorns that grow in pairs along its branches. Many birds next in the umbrella thorn acacia, using the thorns and high branches for protection.
Vachellia campeachiana
Vachellia campeachiana
Vachellia campeachiana
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, vachellia campeachiana live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.
Red Acacia
Vachellia gerrardii
Red Acacia
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, red Acacia live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.
Vachellia pennatula
Vachellia pennatula
Vachellia pennatula
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, vachellia pennatula live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.
Vachellia farnesiana var. pinetorum
Vachellia farnesiana var. pinetorum
Vachellia farnesiana var. pinetorum
Vachellia farnesiana var. pinetorum was named after the prestigious Italian family who founded the first private European garden, the Farnese Gardens. This extremely thorny plant was first imported to Italy from the Dominican Republic and was traditionally used as a perfume essence before it was linked to negative side effects in animals. Nowadays, it is used as an accent piece for spiny barrier gardens.
popular genus

More Popular Genus

Dracaena
Dracaena
Dracaena are popular house plants that are easy to grow. They can tolerate low-light conditions and require little watering. Their leaves range from variegated to dark green. Their characteristic traits include woody stems that grow slowly but offer a striking appearance for small spaces such as apartments or offices.
Ficus
Fig trees
Fig trees have been cultivated in many regions for their fruits, particularly the common fig, F. carica. Most of the species have edible fruits, although the common fig is the only one of commercial value. Fig trees are also important food sources for wildlife in the tropics, including monkeys, bats, and insects.
Rubus
Brambles
Brambles are members of the rose family, and there are hundreds of different types to be found throughout the European countryside. They have been culturally significant for centuries; Christian folklore stories hold that when the devil was thrown from heaven, he landed on a bramble bush. Their vigorous growth habit can tangle into native plants and take over.
Acer
Maples
The popular tree family known as maples change the color of their leaves in the fall. Many cultural traditions encourage people to watch the colors change, such as momijigari in Japan. Maples popular options for bonsai art. Alternately, their sap is used to create maple syrup.
Prunus
Prunus
Prunus is a genus of flowering fruit trees that includes almonds, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. These are often known as "stone fruits" because their pits are large seeds or "stones." When prunus trees are damaged, they exhibit "gummosis," a condition in which the tree's gum (similar to sap) is secreted to the bark to help heal external wounds.
Solanum
Nightshades
Nightshades is a large and diverse genus of plants, with more than 1500 different types worldwide. This genus incorporates both important staple food crops like tomato, potato, and eggplant, but also dangerous poisonous plants from the nightshade family. The name was coined by Pliny the Elder almost two thousand years ago.
Rosa
Roses
Most species of roses are shrubs or climbing plants that have showy flowers and sharp thorns. They are commonly cultivated for cut flowers or as ornamental plants in gardens due to their attractive appearance, pleasant fragrance, and cultural significance in many countries. The rose hips (fruits) can also be used in jams and teas.
Quercus
Oaks
Oaks are among the world's longest-lived trees, sometimes growing for over 1,000 years! The oldest known oak tree is in the southern United States and is over 1,500 years old. Oaks produce an exceedingly popular type of wood which is used to make different products, from furniture and flooring to wine barrels and even cosmetic creams.
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About
Key Facts
Distribution
All Species
More Genus
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Thorn trees
Vachellia
Thorn trees earn their name - these trees (and shrubs) have branches that are covered with elongated, very sharp thorns, which help keep predators at bay. Often, thorn trees live in very arid environments, where protecting leaves and water resources is extra important.
Lifespan
Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree
info

Key Facts About Thorn trees

Attributes of Thorn trees

Leaf type
Evergreen

Scientific Classification of Thorn trees

distribution

Distribution of Thorn trees

Distribution Map of Thorn trees

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
species

Exploring the Thorn trees Plants

8 most common species:
Vachellia farnesiana
Sweet acacia
Sweet acacia (Vachellia farnesiana) is a perennial evergreen shrub that can grow to be 2.5 to 6 m tall and 1.8 to 3 m wide. It produces fragrant, showy yellow flowers and brown fruit. It is armed with thorns on its branches and trunk. This species is salt tolerant and prefers sandy soil with a good alkaline balance. Sweet acacia attracts pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
Vachellia karroo
Sweet thorn
Sweet thorn (Vachellia karroo) is deeply embedded in the history and culture of South Africa, with Zulu people using its wood for fencing, rafts, and even sewing needles. Though named for its thorns, sweet thorn also grows undeniably cheerful, bright yellow, pom-pom-like flowers in the early summer.
Vachellia constricta
Whitethorn Acacia
Whitethorn Acacia, or Vachellia constricta, is a shrubby tree native to the southwestern United States and into Mexico. It is often used in native desert gardens or cultivated as an ornamental tree or hedge.
Vachellia rigidula
Blackbrush acacia
The blackbrush acacia (Vachellia rigidula) is a deciduous shrub native to northern Mexico and southern Texas. Its thorny branches make it useful to form barrier hedges, and it is also planted as an attractive ornamental. Its bushy, fragrant flowers attract nectar-drinking birds and insects, including honeybees.
Show More Species

All Species of Thorn trees

popular genus

More Popular Genus

Dracaena
Dracaena
Dracaena are popular house plants that are easy to grow. They can tolerate low-light conditions and require little watering. Their leaves range from variegated to dark green. Their characteristic traits include woody stems that grow slowly but offer a striking appearance for small spaces such as apartments or offices.
Ficus
Fig trees
Fig trees have been cultivated in many regions for their fruits, particularly the common fig, F. carica. Most of the species have edible fruits, although the common fig is the only one of commercial value. Fig trees are also important food sources for wildlife in the tropics, including monkeys, bats, and insects.
Rubus
Brambles
Brambles are members of the rose family, and there are hundreds of different types to be found throughout the European countryside. They have been culturally significant for centuries; Christian folklore stories hold that when the devil was thrown from heaven, he landed on a bramble bush. Their vigorous growth habit can tangle into native plants and take over.
Acer
Maples
The popular tree family known as maples change the color of their leaves in the fall. Many cultural traditions encourage people to watch the colors change, such as momijigari in Japan. Maples popular options for bonsai art. Alternately, their sap is used to create maple syrup.
Prunus
Prunus
Prunus is a genus of flowering fruit trees that includes almonds, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. These are often known as "stone fruits" because their pits are large seeds or "stones." When prunus trees are damaged, they exhibit "gummosis," a condition in which the tree's gum (similar to sap) is secreted to the bark to help heal external wounds.
Solanum
Nightshades
Nightshades is a large and diverse genus of plants, with more than 1500 different types worldwide. This genus incorporates both important staple food crops like tomato, potato, and eggplant, but also dangerous poisonous plants from the nightshade family. The name was coined by Pliny the Elder almost two thousand years ago.
Rosa
Roses
Most species of roses are shrubs or climbing plants that have showy flowers and sharp thorns. They are commonly cultivated for cut flowers or as ornamental plants in gardens due to their attractive appearance, pleasant fragrance, and cultural significance in many countries. The rose hips (fruits) can also be used in jams and teas.
Quercus
Oaks
Oaks are among the world's longest-lived trees, sometimes growing for over 1,000 years! The oldest known oak tree is in the southern United States and is over 1,500 years old. Oaks produce an exceedingly popular type of wood which is used to make different products, from furniture and flooring to wine barrels and even cosmetic creams.
product icon close
Your Ultimate Guide to Plants
Identify grow and nurture the better way!
product icon
17,000 local species +400,000 global species studied
product icon
Nearly 5 years of research
product icon
80+ scholars in botany and gardening
ad
product icon close
Continue reading in our app - it's better
A database of 400000+ plants
unlimited guides at your fingertips...
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