Hindi Name : बबूल | Scientific Name : Vachellia nilotica subsp. Indica Family : Fabaceae Uses : It is a pioneer (light-demanding), nitrogen-fixing tree, and is relatively fast growing on arid sites. It is an important riverine tree in India, Sudan and Senegal, where it is planted for timber. It has long been one of most popular farm trees throughout the Indian subcontinent for its many uses (timber, fuelwood, fodder, tannins and gum) and ease of propagation. It is used extensively for rehabilitation of degraded saline and alkaline soils, and as a windbreak or avenue tree. It has a strategic value providing forage resources in many pastoral systems in Africa. Native: S. Iran to Indian Subcontinent General Description:
It is the most common, economically important and extensively grown subspecies, with a spreading crown, bright brown shoots, smooth bark and short, slender (and relatively few) spines. It is a medium to large tree that can reach a height of 10 m, with an average of 4-7 m in height. The crown is somewhat flattened or rounded, with a moderate density. The branches have a tendency to droop downwards if the crown is roundish. The bark is blackish grey or dark brown in mature trees and deeply grooved, with longitudinal fissures. The young branches are smooth and grey to brown in colour. The young twigs are covered in short hairs. Paired, slender, straight spines grow from a single base and sometimes curve backwards, are up to 80 mm long and whitish but often reddish brown in colour. The leaves are twice compound, i.e. they consist of 5-11 feather-like pairs of pinnae; each pinna is further divided into 7-25 pairs of small, elliptic leaflets that can be bottle to bright green in colour. Flowers are bright yellow, numerous, in fluffy globular heads 1.2 cm diameter, usually in clusters of 2 to 6, on individual pubescent axillary stalks 1.5 to 2 cm long.