Camel Thorn, Giraffe Thorn

Acacia giraffae

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

Phoenix, Arizona

Gardeners' Notes:


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?


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...