This tree will be found wherever there is water nearby. It is a deciduous to semi-deciduous tree. But leaves, flowers and fruits, as other members of the genus, follow their own individual cycle rather than of the seasons.
When in leaf, trees of all sizes and ages are readily identified by their characteristic blue-grey foliage with silvery tinges, especially the young leaves which have a covering of fine, silvery hairs that are lost with age. This silver-grey hairs on the leaves give the tree its name.
This imposing and long-living tree- one has been carbon dated at over a thousand years old- does unfortunately have an Achilles’ heel, for it is not resistant to fire and once alight blazes away to complete destruction.
The common name derives from the very distinctive knob-studded trunk and branches, each individual knob being tipped with a hooked thorn. While this is very obvious on the trunks of younger trees, it becomes less so with age and is usually absent altogether in large, mature knob thorns.
The jackal-berry favours the silty soils near watercourses, but may also be found growing from old termite mounds a fair distance from the water. As with a number of the riverine trees, the jackal-berry is a large, graceful tree which can grow to 20 meters.
A weeping boer-bean is the tree favoured by game farmers. Conspicuous in the veld, Black Rhino love eating the bark and giraffe, kudu, nyala and impala eat the leaves . Velvet monkeys, louries and parrots feast on the flower buds and seeds.
The fast growing and attractive fever tree with its distinctive greenish trunk is unique in the sense that the trunk converts the sun’s energy into food through photosynthesis. The fever tree , part of the acacia family, is notable for its formidable spines and delicate, pretty flower beads.