top of page

Black thorn African Bonsai for sale | Swarthaak | Senegalia mellifera

Skip the detail and go to available stock

Can Black thorn be grown as a bonsai?

We selected Black thorn (uniquely identified by its scientific name Senegalia mellifera) for our African Bonsai product range (#africanbonsai), because of it's small leaflets and profusion of white globous flowers in early spring. Flowering is followed by quite showy yellow pods.  Black thorn is deciduous. It is a densely branched and has a V-shaped form.  All the above add to the species' attractiveness as an African Bonsai tree. It will achieve a mature bonsai look after about 3 years, and can easily be shaped into different thorn tree shapes. Senegalia mellifera is listed in our thorn tree African Bonsai gallery. (Search #ThorntreeAfricanBonsai). Figure 1 shows the distribution map for Black thorn.

Black thorn distribution map.jpg

Figure 1. Distribution map of Black thorn. Courtesy Keith Coates  Palgrave 2002.

Cities per country (dots) from left to right:

Namibia  -Walvisbay

                -Windhoek (hidden)

South Africa  -Cape town

                       -Gqeberha (prev Port Elizabeth)


                       -East London (hidden)


                       -Durban (hidden)

Botswana   - Gaberone (hidden)

Zimbabwe  - Harare

Mozambique - Maputu

                       - Beira

Black thorn tree in it's natural setting. (#specimenblackthorn). Image taken early spring, showing the tree in full flower. Flowers turn to showy, yellow papery pods in about 4 weeks. Pods remain on the tree for several weeks.

Black thorn in its natural setting | #specimenblackthorn |  | Swarthaak | Senegalia mellifera

Black thorn African Bonsai shapes and size

Our size and shape information is based on observation in nature, experience gained by growing Black thorn at our Treeshop nursery and descriptions found in authoritative handbooks.

We observed that Black thorn has an informal, bushy form with a low branching V-shaped structure. (See photo above )

The Table below gives approximate height that Carnival bush bonsais may achieve in different containers sizes:

Container size          |  2-6 Liter  |  25 Liter  |  80 Liter  

Bonsai tree height   |     30cm    | 60cm       |   100cm  

How do I care for my Black thorn African bonsai?

Black thorn responds well to pruning and you can easily develop it into a typical African savanna thorn tree.  It is best to place the tree in full sunlight during its growing period (from just before budding up to late autumn). Provide for good air circulation around the tree. We recommend that you reduce watering in autumn to force the tree into rest. You can (and should) take it inside if your winter temperature falls below zero.

Water needs depend on climatic conditions and leaf mass. The species is quite water wise. Generally, it requires moderate water in summer and less in winter.

Feed your Black thorn African Bonsai with a flower stimulating fertilizer in late winter and again in mid-summer. More on this topic on our blog post. (To follow)

Black thorn is not pest prone. The best way to control pests is to keep it in in a sunny, well-ventilated spot. Keep your tree healthy and avoid the use of pesticides.

Black thorn African Bonsai stock for sale

African Bonsai trees stock for sale | #africanbonsai


To enquire, please fill out our contact form. Remember to provide stock numbers (printed in yellow on image) for the products you are interested in.

Stock available in small pots (2-6 Liter)  

Black thorn African Bonsai for sale |#blackthornafricanbonsai | Swarthaak | Senegalia mellifera

Stock available in medium pots (25 Liter)

Work in Progress

Stock available in large pots (80Liter)

Work in Progress

bottom of page