Isn’t this a beautiful tree? It’s an acacia on the corner across from our house.
The genus Acacia one of the most common in the East Africa region, and there are at least 132 species on the continent. Because it is a member of the family Leguminosae (beans), its roots have the ability to enhance soil fertility by fixing nitrogen to the soil particles.
Its leaves are bipinnately compound, divided into dozens of tiny leaflets, which are held either horizontally to catch the sunlight or vertically to slow transpiration. It has white or yellow blooms, thorny branches, and hard brown pods.
I see a lot of acacia trees around Kigali, although the high, flattened, and spreading crown of the one above is particularly nice.
The acacia tree in our garden doesn’t have as pretty a form as the one above — it needs some pruning — but after 3 months of daily rain, its trunk is blanketed with moss spotted with lichen.
Our walkway is also showing signs of the season. The pavers didn’t have these pretty green outlines when we arrived in early September.