Senegalia caffra, the common hook thorn is sometimes a shrub, usually a tree of up to 8 m.
S. caffra has a curiously disjointed series of separate distribution areas. Several of these isolated parts occur far away from the main area in north-eastern South Africa. Some of these places are characterised by widely different climatic conditions.
This is probably the remainder of one large and continuous are over which the species distribution had initially spread; later climate changes leading to the fragmentation. Changes over a long period of the tree’s several successful adjustments to all challenges faced, have rendered the connecting parts inhospitable.
The trees surviving in the various discrete habitat pockets may become increasingly different from each other. This is due to today's evolution, the never-ending adjustment and adaptation still continuing, as no life form surrenders before having used its complete evolutionary toolbox.
S. caffra in its various forms is hardy, resistant to frost and drought. It is a good option for gardens, parks and street pavements (Coates Palgrave, 2002).