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Date: 3 Apr 2019, Entry id: 1554290162-2

Featured plant

Acacia (Vachellia) sphaerocephala - Bulls-Horn

The name of this cool unusual tree comes from the shape of the thorns which do indeed resemble the horns of a bull! The tree has a strong, symbiotic relationship with a species of an ant, Pseudomyrmex sphaerocephala for which it is the obligate habitat. The ants act as caretakers for the tree, and clear the ground and keep it free of any other plants and even prune surrounding branches of other trees that threaten to outshade the acacia. Without the protection of the ant colony, the acacia tree would fall vulnerable to chewing insects such as beetles or caterpillars, and surrounding trees and shrubs would quickly outcompete the acacia without the maintenance work of the ants to keep the tree safe.

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