Mauritius thorn

Caesalpinia decapetala
Mauritius thorn: Caesalpinia decapetala Mauritius thorn: Caesalpinia decapetala

Common name:

Mauritius thorn

Scientific name:

Caesalpinia-decapetala

Alternative common names:

mysore thorn; shoofly; kraaldoring (Afrikaans); ufenisi; ubobo-encane (isiZulu)

A thorny evergreen shrub growing 2-4m high or climbs to 10 or higher with small bi-pinnate leaves which are dark green and paler underneath. The flowers are pale yellow in colour and appear as small tufted balls which flower from May-November

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Asia (India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan & Malaysia)

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    In KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng

    How does it spread?

    The large seeds are spread by water and animals

    Why is it a problem?

    Scrambles over and smothers other indigenous species and also forms dense stands along watercourses, which are likely to reduce stream flow

    What does it look like?

    General description: A thorny evergreen shrub growing 2-4m high or climbs to 10 or higher. Leaves: Small bi-pinnate leaves which are dark green and paler underneath, not glossy. Flowers: Flowers are pale yellow in colour and appear as small tufted balls which flower from May-November. Fruit/Seeds: Produces brown woody seed pods.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Used as an ornament and also for security hedging. It was once planted along with Agave sisalana to create an impenetrable barrier between the border of Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal