Falcon's claw

Scientific name
Acacia polyacantha
Order / Family
Local Names
Bajun (Mkengewa); Kamba (Kivovoa, Mwelele, Musewa); Luhya (Kumukokwe); Luo (Ogongo, Suahowe, Swaruri); Swahili (Mkengewa).


General Distribution:

It is widespread in India and the tropical Africa. In Kenya, it's found in wooded grassland and riverine woodland. It is common along Thika road, Kisumu, South Nyanza, Narok, Taita-Taveta, Machakos and Kilifi.
Distribution of Acacia plycantha in Kenya
Distribution of Acacia plycantha in Kenya
© Maundu P. and Bo Tengnas. (2005). Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya, World Agroforestry Centre.


General Information about the Tree:

This acacia's wood is resinous, hence termite resistant. Its tree is a host to many insects. The presence of this tree may indicate presence of fertile soils and ground water but it can also grow on stony soils.

Biophysical Limits:

It does well in the altitude ranges of 200 - 1,800m. It does well in fertile soils but is often found in poorly drained soils. It is found in Agro climatic zones III - IV.

Propagation and Tree Management

Seedlings, wildings or direct sowing at site may be used for propagation. Good seeds take 10 to 20 days to germinate and this is at 60 - 90% rate. This tree is fast growing on good sites and pollarding, coppicing and pruning can be used in their management. Pruning is necessary to avoid the big branches breaking from strong winds.


  • Fodder; pods, leaves and seeds are eaten by animals
  • Fuel; is a good source of firewood and charcoal
  • Timber
  • Medicine
  • Food
  • Bee forage


  • Ornamental
  • Soil conservation
  • Nitrogen fixing

Pests and Diseases

There is no information on diseases and pests for this tree. There is no serious problem caused by pests and diseases.

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