Vachellia abyssinica (Flat Top Acacia)

Scientific Name

Vachellia abyssinica (Hochst. ex Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr.

Common Names

Flat Top Acacia


Acacia abyssinica (basionym), Vachellia abyssinica subsp. abyssinica, Acacia xiphocarpa

Scientific Classification

Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Tribe: Acacieae
Genus: Vachellia


Color: White
Bloom Time: Spring


Vachellia abyssinica is an evergreen spreading tree that grows up to 52.5 feet (16 m) tall. Its bark is reddish-brown on older trees. On younger trees, it is pale yellowish-brown, peeling off in papery wads. Young twigs are softly hairy. Thorns are aligned in straight pairs at nodes. Leaves are in pinnae pairs of 20 to 40. The leaflets are very small. The inflorescence is arranged in white spherical heads. Seed pods are dehiscent.

Vachellia abyssinica - Flat Top Acacia
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USDA hardiness zone 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Acacia requires full sunlight and grows in nearly any type of soil, including sand, clay, or soil that is highly alkaline or acidic. Although Acacia prefers well-drained soil, it tolerates muddy soil for short periods. Acacia is basically a plant-it-and-forget-it type of tree, although a young tree may need protection from wildlife while developing its defense system. During the first year, the tree benefits from an orchid fertilizer every three to four weeks. After that time, you can feed the tree a general-purpose fertilizer once every year, but it isn't an absolute requirement. Acacia requires little or no water.

Acacia may need occasional pruning during the dry months. Avoid pruning leafy, green areas and trim only dead growth.

Although the tree is disease-resistant, it can sometimes be affected by a fungal disease known as anthracnose. Additionally, watch for pests such as aphids, thrips, mites, and scale. See more at How to Grow and Care for Acacia.


Native to Africa, from Ethiopia southwards to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


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