Ziziphus mucronata, known as the Buffalo thorn, “blinkblaar-wag-‘n-bietjie” in Afrikaans and “mphasamhala” in Tsonga, is a species in the Rhamnaceae family.
The Buffalo thorn is a small to medium sized tree, reaching a height of about 10m (33ft). It can survive in a variety of soil types, occurring in many habitats, mostly open woodlands, often on soils deposited by rivers, and grows frequently on termite mounds.
Buffalo thorn has distinctive zigzag branchlets, and hooked and straight thorns.
The bark is a red-brown (on young stems) or roughly mottled grey which is cracked in small rectangular blocks revealing a stringy red underbark.
The fruit are roughly grape size, and ripen into a deep brown-red.