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A picture of a Umbrella Thorn

Umbrella Thorn

Vachellia tortilis

Acacia tortilis 1 by Haplochromis (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Umbrella Thorn Overview

Umbrella Thorn, Vachellia tortilis, was previously well known as Acacia tortilis. Umbrella Thorn is a drought-resistant tree with the classic, umbrella-shaped canopy associated with thorn trees. Many bird species take advantage of the protection it offers and builds their nests in the canopy. This plant produces scented, creamy-white, puffball-shaped flowers, which lead onto rattling, curly seed pods. Vachellia tortilis reaches heights of between 5 and 20 m in nature. It is fairly slow-growing and in cultivation reaches a final height of between 3 and 5 m with a spread of 8-13 m. In extremely arid conditions, it may occur as a small, wiry bush. The bark on the trunk is rough and varies from medium grey to almost black, with somewhat tortuous longitudinal fissures. On the main branches, the covering is dark and fissured. Young Umbrella Thorn trees do not appear to be capable of withstanding much frost. It is drought-resistant but watering and applications of fertilizer will appreciably improve the rate of growth.

How to propagate Umbrella Thorn



Special features of Umbrella Thorn

Attracts birds

Attracts butterflies

Drought resistant

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Umbrella Thorn


Edible gum may be used as Gum Arabic. The roots, shoots, and seedpods are often used for a range of uses.