The first tourists, who arrived after six months of lockdown on the 11th September this year, were welcomed by millions of different acacia blossoms as well as the worm-cure albizia in and around Windhoek. Spring has sprung in Namibia and nature awakens once again. Announcing the new season, the black thorn presented its globose white-yellowish flowers on bare twigs and branches which armed with curved spines. Shortly afterwards the first camel thorn trees presented their golden-yellow flowers together with fresh green leaves, both protected by long white, often swollen spines. The soft spherical heads are on long stems scattered along the branches.
The greenish-white flowers of the worm-cure albizia are much bigger than the round acacia flowers but as soft and fragile looking. They appear before the leaves do, and are another sign of summer approaching. These trees have no thorns to protect the flowers and leaves. They however add a certain vibrancy to the dry landscapes the winter left behind.
A few candlepod acacias are also flowering and have added a yellowish tint to the flowerage in open spaces, riverbeds and some gardens with endemic trees and bushes. Slightly curved paired thorns protect the numerous and small globose flower heads which are cream coloured and become yellow as they wither.
Soon other acacias will be in flower and those who now greeted the first tourists back to Namibia will be developing pods and green leaves. Insects and birds are able to enjoy the nectar from acacias for some time since the various tree species all flower at different times.
Author: Dirk Heinrich