Faidherbia albida is one of the fastest growing indigenous trees. It is deciduous and can grow up to 30 m tall. It has branching stems and an erect to roundish crown. Greenish grey to whitish grey colour and smoothness is evident on the young stems, but grey and smooth to rough on older branches and stems. The straight, whitish thorns, which are in pairs, are up to 40 mm long. Pale grey-green leaves which are twice-compound, have a conspicuous gland at the base of each pair of pinnae (leaflets). Scented, pale cream-coloured flowers form an elongated spike up to 35-160 x 20 mm. The flowers show from March to September, followed by fruit from September to December. The fruit is orange to red-brown in colour, non-splitting and curved to twisted pod. The size of the pods fruit ranges from 100-350 x 20-50 mm. The seeds are mostly eaten by Brown Playboy butterfly larvae. It is a valuable fodder tree for game and domestic animals. It is mostly browsed by, elephants, giraffe, kudu, nyala, and impala. This plant loses its leaves in summer, thus providing fodder during the winter. The leaves are nutritious; the seeds have high protein content, and the pods are high in starch. In the landscape, it can make an interesting specimen when planted in a park or a big garden. The Ana tree has an extensive root system and can be planted close together in rows in a contour to stabilize eroded soils. It can be planted in groups of ten to twelve scattered in the veld to provide fodder. The seeds can be boiled and eaten, but first the skin has to be removed. Also the pods may be dried and ground into flour, which is edible. Again, the pods are said to have been used as fish poison. In Namibia, strips of bark are used as dental floss. The Ana tree can also be used medicinally. A decoction of the bark is used to treat diarrhoea, bleeding and inflamed eyes. It can be used as an emetic as well.
USDA Zone - 10
Season to sow - Spring
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