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Vachellia xanthophloea

Family: Fabaceae

Common names: Fever Tree, Acacia xanthophloea (E); umhlosinga (Z); Koorsboom (A); Mooka-kwena (NS); nkelenga (Ts);

Native to: Africa
Tree
An iconic species and one of South Africa’s most popular garden trees

Vachellia xanthophloea

SEMI-DECIDUOUS

DECIDUOUS

FULL SUN

SEMI FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

HIGH WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

20m x 10m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Vachellia xanthophloea

DESCRIPTION

Previously known as Acacia xanthophloea, this is a semi-deciduous to deciduous tree with an open rounded to spreading crown. The powdery bark is greenish-yellow. It produces masses of bright yellow round inflorescence. The fruit is a yellowish brown, non-splitting pod.

WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Larvae of the Cream Striped Owl moth feed on the fever tree but the population will not cause fatal damage to the tree. The flowers attract insects and insectivorous birds such as barbets and warblers. The branches are a favourite nesting site for weavers.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
The fever tree is naturally found near rivers so it is best grown in areas with similar water conditions.
MAINTENANCE
Low maintenance.
LANDSCAPING USES
A fast-growing tree for a medium-large garden. It will attract birds and insects. Avoid planting too close to paved areas as the root may interfere/uplift the paving
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Country, Formal, Rockery, Water, Woodland
FOLIAGE
FRUIT
SPINES
ONLINE REFERENCES & RESOURCES

http://pza.sanbi.org/vachellia-xanthophloea

13 Responses

  1. Hi Ellis

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    As Vachellia xanthophloea tends to have a very aggressive root system it is recommended that this species should not be planted less than 6m from any structures. Note, however, that the roots can spread up to 15m in optimal growing conditions.

    Removing an established and healthy tree is not an easy decision, so perhaps consult with a building specialist to inspect the situation and advise you on the potential interference with the buildings.

    I do not recommend the cutting of roots as this may affect the stability and healthy of the tree.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Hi. My fever tree roots are lifting the paving in my driveway and look like they will interfere with the foundations of the buildings. I have planted it 6 m away from any buildings but the roots are spreading. Can they be cut to stop the lifting or must I remove the tree? It is spectacular and around 15m high but I am concerned that it will damage the buildings

  3. Hi Louise

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Sticky residue falling from a tree is usually a sign of sap-sucking insects on the tree. Usually these insects do not cause any long-term damage to the tree as it occurs for a few months during a phase of the insects’s lifecycle. Look closely at the stems and branches for small insects that may at first look like part of the tree. I would not recommend spraying an insecticide as birds and bats may feed on these insects to help control the population.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. Thanks for getting back to me Glenice. Not sure why I called you Pat – my apologies!

    Yes, there are plenty of flowers as well as pollen. I’m assuming the tree will stop flowering at the end of this month. Thanks again for getting back to me.

    Take care,

    Karen

  5. Hi Karen

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    It definitely sounds like pollen. Your trees have probably produced abundant flowers compared to previous years as a result of the good rains.

    Unfortunately it will mean you’ll need to do additional cleaning, but relish this season of abundance as the flowering season will soon be over.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  6. Hi Pat,

    My vachellia xanthopholea is currently dispensing of a very sticky pollen like substance. I’m not sure if it is pollen though. My car is parked close to the tree and is currently covered in this powdery substance. As are my verandah steps. It’s the first time I’ve noticed this abundance of “pollen” in the three years I’ve live here in Cape Town and was wondering if it had anything to do with the high rainfall we had this winter.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Regards,

    Karen

  7. Hi Cavill

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Vahcellia xanthophloea are attractive and fast-growing trees which are very popular. Unfortunately most urban locations where they are planted do not have conditions similar to those of their natural habitat which puts the trees under tremendous stress.

    You’d need to contact an arborist to examine and treat your remaining tree.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  8. Hi – please advise me how to overcome/treat diseases which attack fever trees
    Firstly the tree starts to loose leaves then changes colour to light brown followed by turning a sooty black colour
    We have had two out of three trees removed so far and now a third tree (in a different location) after loosing its leaves has dripped sap from virtually every thorn nodule and its bark is starting to split

    Thanks

  9. Hi Pat

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    The lifespan of trees vary according to the region, species traits and growing conditions.

    In South Africa, many specimens Vachellia karroo are over 100 years old. Of the trees you’re researching, Combretum erythrophylum tends to have the shortest lifespan.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  10. Hi Bronwen

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    The growth rate and size that your fever trees will reach depends largely on your climate and soil conditions.
    Given the distance from your pool and wall, the trees may cause damage when they grow bigger as the roots will spread at least twice the height of the tree.
    Apart from the cost of repairing the damage, it would be a shame to have to cut down fully grown trees, so perhaps consider replacing them with a smaller species.

    All the best.
    Glenice

  11. Hi, I have 3 fever trees growing between our swimming pool and wall, about 1.5m from each. I have been told they are going to damage our pool and/wall. They are beautiful trees and growing very well, about 2m – 3m tall at the moment. Is there any advice you can give me in this regard?

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