Gardening » Common flora of UAE: Arabian Gum Tree

Common flora of UAE: Arabian Gum Tree

gumtree jpgScientific Name: Acacia Nilotica

Arabic Name: Sunt Garath, Jard, Tulh

Flowers: March to November

Plant, Tree, Mimosa


Botanical Description

Grows 5-12 m high with a single trunk and dense rounded crown; stems and branches usually dark to black colored; bark rough, fissured and dark brown in color, exuding a reddish, low quality gum.

The tree has thin, straight, light grey spines along branches, 0.2-8cm long; mature trees commonly without thorns.

The leaves are bipinnate, with 3-8 pairs of pinnae and 10-12 pairs of leaflets each.



in spherical heads of a bright golden-yellow located at the end of the branches on stalks from leaf nodes.



Pods black and strongly constricted between seeds. White-grey, thick and covered with short, dense, matted hairs. Seeds number approximately 8000/kg.


Wadi, plantation and gardens.



Common in UAE.



The Arabian gum tree is native to Egypt, south to Mozambique and Natal, and through to Pakistan, India and Burma. It has become widely naturalized outside its native range including in Zanzibar and Australia, where it is an invasive species of significant concern.



Pearl divers used to apply in infusion of fruit to their skin after dives. Poultice of leaves used to treat joint pains. 

Resin mixed with egg-white applied to eyes to treat cataracts. 

Leaves eaten to treat diarrhoea. 

Seeds soaked in water or milk to treat diabetes. 

Smoke from burning pods inhaled for colds.

The termite-resistant wood of the tree was used for construction and for carving household utensils and, in earlier times, for making spears and arrows. 

The wood can be used as firewood and for producing charcoal. 

The bark is a source of tannin and dye. 

Gum Arabic is obtained from this and other Acacia species and used commercially as a stabilizer in the food industry.

It is also used as an ingredient in other products such as glues, paints and cosmetics.


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