Vachellia reficiens

Botanical Name

Vachellia reficiens (Wawra) Kyalangalilwa & Boatwright

Common Name(s)

  • false umbrella thorn
  • vals haak-en-steek (Afrikaans)

Legume Clades

Native Geographic Range

  • Northeastern Africa

IUCN Status

Growth Form

small tree

Cultivation Status in AZ

Uniquely cultivated by DELEP


Drought- and cold-deciduous, multiple-stemmed shrubs or small trees to 23 ft (7 m) high, branching near the base and with a spreading, somewhat flat-topped canopy. The bark is gray or reddish brown, becoming rough and fissured with age. Twigs are armed with a pair of short, hooked spines at the nodes. Leaves are bipinnate with 1--4 pairs of pinnae. Each pinna has 5--13 pairs of small leaflets. Cream colored flowers in spherical heads are produced in summer.


There are two subspecies. Subspecies misera is native to parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda where it is found in dry scrub habitats. Subspecies reficiens is found in Angola and Namibia in dry scrub.


None reported.


False umbrella-thorn is unavailable from nurseries. The spiny stems are unpleasant and would make an effective barrier. Established plants are highly drought- and heat-tolerant. The plant growing in this field has survived temperatures of 18° F (-7.7° C) without damage.