It is a medium size tree with many uses; food (sweet pods), firewood, honey, fodder, soap oil, tannin, hedges and shade; it can survive hostile climates. Thin spines are in pairs at the base of leaves. Leaves are deciduous. However, new leaf growth coincides with the loss of old leaves, giving the tree an evergreen appearance. The flowers are in small white heads 1/2" in diameter. The pods are pinkish, about 5" long, and become spiral as they mature. Pods contain a pulp that is variously sweet and acid, commonly white but also red. The seed and pulp are made into a sweet drink and eaten roasted or fresh. Fruits are eaten raw, and commonly used in the preparation of beverages. In India the seeds are used fresh or in curries. The pods are relished by monkeys and livestock. The flowers are attractive to bees as source of pollen. The resulting honey is of high quality. Although the pods are attractive fodder to most animals, the leaves are browsed but not considered an important animal fodder. The tree is used extensively as a shade tree with a great tolerance of arid and harsh sites. It can be managed as a hedge. Trimming increases the occurrence of thorns. Trees will survive brief frosts as well as temperatures well above 100F.