Friday, August 13, 2010

The Gum Arabic Tree

The Gum Arabic tree Acacia nilotica, with its tiny leaves , is well suited for life in semi deserts. The trees of this acacia were in full bloom in Rajasthan last week. It is a native of India and Africa.
The fragrant small golden flowers of the Gum Arabic attract swarms of bees. The tree is full of thorns, and this makes it an ideal tree to plant at the edge of fields to deter marauding deer and Neelgai.
Farmers use the leaves of the tree as fodder. Camels, which are used to carry loads in Rajasthan like to eat the leaves. They don't seem to mind the thorns.
The bark of the tree is used to alleviate cough. All parts of the tree are used in Siddha medicine .