The Acacia Tortilis (Umbrella Thorn Tree) appears in just about every picture of an African savanna sunset that has ever been printed, painted or posted.
The tree is indigenous to Kenya and is very drought resistant. It has the classic, umbrella-shaped canopy which is associated with thorn trees. Many bird species take advantage of this thorny protection and build their nests in the canopy.
The leaves are very small giving the umbrella a soft, feathery appearance. The foliage is typically bright green or bluish-green.
The tree flowers in December (summer) with small, densely packed, creamy white or yellow spherical heads.
Acacia Tortilis produces a large number of pods that are eaten by domestic and wild animals (e.g., kudu, impala, rhino and elephant), and sometimes by man. The pods are tightly coiled spirals that fall to the ground unopened.
The trees produce pairs of thorns along its branches: one straight thorn with a small curved thorn alongside.