I found this tree growing on a farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. It has really nasty thorns sticking out all over.

Click on pictures for larger view.

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2 Answers 2


It looks like a Honey Locust. Not sure what it's doing in South Africa though, as it is native to North America. Someone must have planted it there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_locust.

Edit: From tcpermaculture.com

History: Native and widespread in central North America. It was used by Native Americans as a supplementary food source. It has been used in more recent times as a fast-growing, ornamental, shade tree, and thornless varieties have been developed. It has been naturalized in most of eastern North America and it has been introduced to India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Some consider it a weed tree in these locations.

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  • 1
    Those thorns look lethal - ouch
    – user13638
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 22:49
  • I'm not sure that this is a match. It does look similar. The seed pods on the trees that I saw do not twist or spiral, they're quite straight.
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 11:10
  • Honey locust is on our weeds list, so I'd be really sad if that's what this is.
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 13:34
  • @RichieACC seriously I wouldn't put much stock in the weed list. In Florida the Pin Oak (Quercus virginiania) is listed a a weed. A majestic tree like an oak is a weed? Don't worry too much about it. Locusts and other acacias of all types make great honey bee food and produce delicious honey.
    – Escoce
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 15:27
  • lowertrentconservation.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/… That site has a photo showing the seed pods that convince me that your answer is correct. I am accepting it as such. Thank you!
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 18:44

Tamarind? It is from Africa. Unlike Honey Locust https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarind

  • That is not the tree. It's similar. The fruits and seed pods do not match.
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 15:10

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