Early morning sunshine enhances the yellow gold bark of a Fever Tree, patterning the trunk with leaf shadows; a combination resembling rich brocade. This photograph is posted in response to this week’s photo challenge to capture a shadow.

Occurring naturally in swampy areas, this tree was associated with malaria; hence it came to be known as the Fever Tree. The strangely pale and powdery yellow bark also added to the tree’s mystique. Perhaps more apt is the Zulu name for the tree, umHlosinga, which means ‘the tree that shines from afar’.

The Fever Tree’s botanical name is Vachellia xanthophloea, previously Acacia xanthophloea. Xanthophloea means yellow-barked. Increasingly, these striking trees are being planted in urban areas, and this photograph was taken in our suburban garden.

Recent revisions in the classification of Acacias required that they be divided into five subgroups, and as a result African Acacias have been renamed either Vachellia or Senegalia, and Acacia now refers only to wattles in Australia.

Much to the sorrow of lovers of the iconic thorn trees of the African savannas, there are no longer Acacias in Africa! (Click here for a succinct summary of the name changes.)

Posted by Carol


Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow Click to see images from other bloggers on this theme.