Acacia xanthophloea

Acacia xanthophloea

Acacia xanthophloea (Fever Tree) is a tree which is native to the following countries in Africa: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe. It has also become a landscape tree in other warm climates. It grows naturally in Zimbabwe and South Africa near the Limpopo River, as immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his Just So Stories. The name comes indirectly from its tendency to grow in swampy areas. Early settlers in the region thought that malarial fever was contracted from being around the trees, when in fact the fever was spread by mosquitos living in the swamp.

It is rare as it is the few trees where photo-synthesis takes place in the bark of the tree as the leaves are very small. It also grows a "sacrificial limb" which appears as a dead branch, and is used to dump unwanted nutrients from the soil.

Paradoxically, some sources describe this tree as marking "healthful regions".

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