The beautiful, slow-growing camel thorn grows well in poor soils and in harsh environmental conditions. It is an ideal shrub/tree for a small or large garden. This is a protected tree in South Africa.The camel thorn ranges from a 2 m spiny shrub to a 16 m robust tree. The stem is shiny reddish brown when young. The bark of a mature tree is grey to blackish brown and is deeply furrowed; bearing pairs of almost straight, whitish or brown spines. Spines often have swollen bases and appear at the bases of the leaves. The fully developed spines may be up to 60 mm long. The leaves are twice divided. There are normally 2 to 5 pairs of pinnae per leaf and 8 to 18 pairs of leaflets (pinnules) per pinna. They are hairless and have a prominent underside vein on the undersurface.