A large deciduous tree of Southern and Eastern Africa. A fast growing, long-lived tree, with a maximum height of 30 m, Acacia galpinii is the largest South African acacia. The trunk is 2 m in diameter. The bark is whitish-yellow in young trees and darkens with maturity.
The flowers are creamy white, with a reddish calyx. The fruits, which ripen between February and March, are 8-15 seeded dehiscent pods, straight, large, papery to woody, 8-20 cm long x 25 mm broad, reddish to purple in colour. The seeds are flattened and ovoid.
The monkey thorn provides valuable timber for construction and fences. It is grown as an ornamental tree in large gardens, parks and avenues. The sweet-scented flowers attract bees and other insects.
Germination: Scarify seeds. Soak for 24 hours. Sow seeds about 1/4 inch apart in a seed tray. Cover the seeds lightly with soil (about the depth of a seed), lightly press down the soil and water. Place above ground level in a warm, humid, partly-shaded area. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Germination takes 1-4 weeks.