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This small to medium, rather short-lived tree has a rounded crown to about 12 m tall with finely pinnate leaves, long, white thorns and masses of yellow flowers in small, spherical heads, followed by narrow, flat pods. It is widely distributed in various types of savannas in southern Africa on sandy soils. It makes a beautiful, drought tolerant ornamental for dry tropical and some warm temperate climates. Seeds should briefly be immersed in boiling water before sowing.