Indian Gum Arabic Tree

Location in BHU campus :Grows wild in unused land, also planted near Chittiupur gate.

Botanical name : Acacia nilotica(L.) Del.ssp.indica( Benth.)Brenan
                    Syn Acacia arabica (Lamk).Willd.

Family : Mimosaceae

Vernacular / local Name : Bengali-Babla,babul;Bihar- babulo, baburo,gabla; Gujarati-Babaria,baval; Hindi-Babul,kikar; Kannada-Gobbli, jaali, karijaali; Madhyapradesh-Babul,baumra; Malayalam-Karivelan; Marathi-Babhul,vedibabul; Oriya-Bambuda, baubra; Punjabi-Kikar; Tamil-Karuvelamaram,karuvelai;Telugu- Nallatumma,tumma.

English / Trade names : Indian gum arabic tree , Babul,Black Babool.

A small to medium sized tree up to a height of 15 m with usually spreading crown ,branches with white,paired long spines.Bark dark brown or black with vertical fissures which sometime run spirally up the tree.Leaves feathery, bipinnate, 5-10 cm long; pinnae usually 4-7 pairs, 1.5 to 5 cm long; leaflets 10-25 pairs, 3-6 mm long ,linear-oblong .Flower heads yellow ,globose,sweet scented about 1 cm in diameter ,peduncled ,2-6 in axillary fascicles .Corolla yellow,bell-shaped,twice as long as calyx,2.5-3.5 mm long.Fruit a pod,moniliform,compressed ,ovoid,8-12 seeded.

Flowering: August- December

Fruiting: January- April

  • Sacred value
  • The green spiny branches are decorated with colourful flowers during the festival of Mamulian in Bundhelkhand by girls.Various fruits are offered to the tree for fulfilling their wishes.The flowers are also used in worship.

  • Uses
  • It yields a gum.Bark and pods yield tannin.Wood is durable and termite resistant. Wood is used for railway sleepers,wheels,agricultural implements, carving and high quality fuel .Seeds are a source of fatty oil. Seeds are also roasted and eaten. Bark is of medicinal value .Leaves and pods are used as fodder.The spines serve as fishing hooks and paper pins.

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