Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Camel Thorn, Giraffe Thorn
Acacia giraffae

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Acacia (a-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: giraffae

Synonym:Acacia erioloba
Synonym:Acacia haematoxylin

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Acacia giraffae by palmbob

By palmbob
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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Acacia giraffae by Xenomorf

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By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #7 of Acacia giraffae by Equilibrium

There are a total of 16 photos.
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No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral niloc On Mar 4, 2004, niloc wrote:

"Camelthorn (Alhagi pseudalhagi) is a medium-sized, spiny, intricately branched perennial shrub that grows one and a half to three feet tall and two to three feet in diameter...." -UC Davis web page describing the noxious weed by the name 'Camelthorn'.
This doesn't sound like the common tree of South Africa, Acacia Giraffae, described as a 15 ft tree! Is this the same plant? Acacia Giraffae is recognized in Africa as a dryland forage and soil building crop with good overstory uses for dessert areas. The noxious shrub called 'camelthorn', Fabaceae Alhagi pseudalhagithough, though definately related, may only share a common name with the tree that is scientifically named on this page: Acacia Girffae/Acacia erioloba. Can someone more knowledgable than I clarify this?

Neutral palmbob On Feb 3, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

spiny looking tree with small ovoid leaflets and straight, long seed pods and goldern flowers. I guess Giraffe eat this and that's why it's called what it is? Parts are toxic, though. Also found it on the invasive weed list. Hmmm. Sounds like there are more than one plant name Camelthorn, and this unfortunate, perhaps innocent Acacia, has the same name as some nasty, shrubby weed. That's the problem with common names in biology...


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

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