Senegalia senegal

Gummiarabikumbaum ( Senegalia senegal )

The Gummiarabikumbaum ( Senegalia senegal (L.) Britton, Syn. Acacia senegal (L.) Willd ), also Senegalese acacia or Acacia Verek rarely called, is a species of the genus Senegalia in the subfamily of the mimosa family ( Mimosoideae ) within the legume family ( Fabaceae ). It is widespread with three varieties in Africa.


Senegalia senegal grows as a shrub or small tree, reaching heights of growth 2-6, occasionally up to 8 meters. The umbrella-shaped crown is highly branched and is made ​​up of many upstanding branches at which spikes in groups of three gray-green, doubly pinnate leaves are. The inflorescences contain yellow or cream flowers. The legumes contain five to six green-brown shiny seeds.


Senegalia senegal requires between 100 and 800 mm annual rainfall, usually from 300 to 400 mm, and can withstand dry periods 8-11 months. Sandy or light loamy soils are preferred in the semi-arid Sahel region, particularly in West Africa and in the western part of Sudan.

Systematics and distribution

The first publication was in 1753 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, under the name ( basionym ) Mimosa senegal in Species Plantarum, 1, pp. 521, German botanist Carl Ludwig Willdenow named in 1806 this type of Acacia senegal in Species Plantarum, 4, 2, S. 1077th Nathaniel Lord Britton published in Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands, 6, 1930, p 538 the name Senegalia senegal. Senegalia senegal is accordingly as Kyalangalilwa & JS Boatwright: Phylogenetic position and revised classification of Acacia sl ( Fabaceae: Mimosoideae ) in Africa, including new Combinations in Vachellia and Senegalia, In: Botanical journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 172, 2013, p 510 of the currently accepted botanical name. Other synonyms are: Acacia Verek Guill. & Perr ..

There are three varieties within the species Senegalia senegal accepted:

  • Senegalia senegal var leiorhachis ( Brenan ) Kyal. & Boatwr. It occurs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the South African provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.
  • Senegalia senegal var rostrata ( Brenan ) Kyal. & Boatwr. It occurs in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South African provinces of KwaZulu -Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
  • Senegalia senegal (L.) Britton var senegal: It occurs in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal and Mozambique.


Gum arabic is obtained from the milky sap under the bark. These are cut after the rainy season the trunk and branches of the tree. With little effort, a relatively high selling price is achieved. The tree is also suitable for the control of desertification and wind erosion, with its widely ramified flat roots, it is suitable for the fixation of sand dunes. Traditionally, the planting of Sudan takes place in a time sequence according to the cultivation of sorghum millet, peanuts, sesame and Karkadeh, thereby ensuring a recovery of soil fertility for 10 to 15 years.

The yield of gum arabic is dependent on adequate water supply in the soil. Investigations in western Sudan have shown that the cultivation of Acacia senegal has proven in low density together with sorghum or Karkadeh to be favorable, because this would contribute to poverty alleviation and food supply of the local population is made. The yield of rubber per tree sap with the same planting distance could be increased, especially in connection with the cultivation of Karkadeh.

The heavy and hard wood is used in house construction, for fencing and as fuel. The bark is next to the " gum arabic " or " acacia " rich in tannin and is therefore used in African traditional medicine for their astringent and ejection promoting properties.