Acacia abyssinica

Acacia abyssinica

Common Names

Flat Top Acacia, Nyanga Flat Top (english)


Genus Acacia
Species abyssinica
SA Plant Number
Basionym Acacia abyssinica


Acacia abyssinica (=Vachellia abyssinica) is a hardy, deciduous (in Gauteng) to semi-deciduous, large tree that develops a distinctly flat top. The very dark brown to black bark is papery and peels off in big pieces on younger trees.

Fine, feathery leaves make up the spreading, flat crown. The white puff-ball like flowers are borne in spring and summer, and these develop into fairly small, narrow, straight leathery seed pods.

Insects and insect-eating birds are attracted to the garden by the flowers of this tree. The flaky bark also provides habitat for insects that birds love to eat.

Give this tree plenty of space to spread its canopy which provides light shade in a large garden. Grows best in full sun, in well drained soil.

Size: up to 16m.


Attracts insects:

Pollinating insects are drawn to the pollen rich, puffball like flowers. The flaky bark of the tree also creates great hiding places for insects.


Insectivorous birds are drawn to this tree by the copious number of pollinating insects during flowering time. Birds are also often seen prying under the loose and peeling bark for insects and insect grubs and larvae.



A beautiful, quintessentially African tree to provide light shade in a large garden.



Natural Habitat:

High altitude woodland, forested mountain gullies


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