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Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd.
Huisache, Sweet acacia, Mealy wattle
Synonym(s): Acacia farnesiana var. farnesiana, Acacia minuta, Acacia minuta ssp. densiflora, Acacia smallii, Mimosa farnesiana, Pithecellobium minutum, Vachellia densiflora, Vachellia farnesiana
USDA Symbol: ACFA
A 15-20 ft., multi-trunked tree or shrub. Branchlets spiny and bearing finely divided leaves, each of the many leaflets less than 1/4 inch long. The bipinnately compound foliage is light-green and ferny. Small, fragrant, orange-yellow flowers 1/2 inch in diameter cluster in globose heads with many protruding stamens per flower. Fruit a reddish brown to black woody pod 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, rounded, not flat, and tapered at both ends.
The common name, Huisache, is derived from Nahuatl and means many thorns. In southern Europe this species is extensively planted for the flowers, which are a perfume ingredient.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate Leaf Shape:
Linear Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Margin: Entire Leaf Apex: Acute Leaf Base: Oblique Size Notes:
Height 15-25 feet, Spread 15 to 25 feet. Leaf:
green to gray-green Flower: Flower
3/8 inch. Sepals
Green, Brown, Black 3-8 cm Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr
, TX Native Distribution: FL
to s. CA
(possibly introduced) & Mex.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Drought Tolerance:
High Heat Tolerant:
Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type Conditions Comments:
Acacia fernesiana can form dense thickets from suckers. It has small, fragrant, orange-yellow flowers cluster in globose heads. But blooms so early that buds are often ruined by frost in the northern parts of its range. Acacia beetles can girdle limbs up to 3 in. across. Alkaline tolerant. This beautiful tree
casts a soft filtered light but be careful when planting it, because it has sharp thorns on the trunk and branches.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Aromatic
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: May be stored in cold for one year.
Seed Treatment: Scarification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Requires pruning to develop strong structure.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Wispy plant to put behind a waterfall
May 30, 2008
Needing a 10-20ft wispy ______ to plant behind our waterfall to help block out road noise. We live in Austin.
I've looked at the Mexican weeping bamboo but are there other options?
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0316
Collected Mar 31, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1304
Collected 2013-07-03 in Val Verde County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-08-18
Research By: TWC Staff