Camel thorn bush

Camel thorn bush

Alhagi maurorum

Common Name:

Camel thorn bush

Scientific Name:

Alhagi maurorum

Alternative common names:

Caspian manna, Kameeldoringbos (Afrikaans). 


The camel thorn bush is a deciduous shrub that flowers in July. It reaches up to 2m in height. The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female parts). It prefers dry soil and full sun. It is unpalatable to animals and a pest when it invades forage and grazing land.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Europe and East Asia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Livestock that have browsed on the fruits disperse seeds to new locations via their droppings, wind and water.

Why is it a problem?

The massive roots utilise a lot of water from the soil, resulting in less water available for other plants to use. It is also harmful to wildlife when mature and thorny.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Dark green.

Flowers: Small, bright pink to maroon pea flowers.

Fruit/seeds: The seeds are mottled brown beans.

Does the plant have any uses?

It is a medicinal plant useful for treating inflammatory diseases.

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