Alphabetical Plant Listing

Acacia farnesiana (Sweet Acacia)

Huisache, Texas Huisache, Sweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Mealy Acacia, Mealy Wattle, Cassie, Vachellia farnesiana, Acacia minuta, Acacia smallii, Mimosa farnesiana, Pithecellobium minutum, Vachellia densiflora


Prized for its highly fragrant flowers, Acacia farnesiana (Sweet Acacia) is a semi-evergreen multi-trunked shrub or small tree with a naturally spreading, vaselike shape. Its zig-zag stems are fully armed with sharp thorns and clad with feathery, finely divided leaflets of a soft green color. The foliage remains evergreen in warm winter areas provided the soil is not allowed to dry out. Clouds of small, bright golden-yellow, puff-like flowers, 1/2 in. (1 cm), appear in clusters in late winter to early spring, then sporadically after each new flush of growth, providing a long-lasting floral display. The flowers give way to short, plump, nearly cylindrical seed pots, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm). Planted ornamentally since the 1600s, Sweet Acacia is extensively planted in southern Europe for its delightfully scented flowers, from which is extracted the cassie perfume. Highly drought tolerant, pest and insect resistant, low-maintenance, this southern native makes an excellent barrier planting (thanks to its sharp thorns) or nesting cover for wildlife. When trained as a small tree, it is likely to become a conversation piece when adorned with its cascades of fragrant yellow flowers.

  • Grows up to 15-20 ft. tall and wide (450-600 cm). Adds 24-36 in. per year (60-90 cm). Can form dense thickets from suckers.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in loose, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Best flower production in full sun. Intolerant of heavy, clay soils. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Plant Sweet Acacia in an area where children and visitors will not come in contact with its sharp spines.
  • Prune as needed to reinforce the structure and form of the tree.
  • Generally trouble-free, but keep an eye out for shot hole borer, caterpillars and root rot. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by scarified seeds.
  • Native from southern California to southern Florida, Mexico, Central America to northern South America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Acacia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Spread 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Southeast, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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Cultivar413, James St John, Vahe Martirosyan (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Acacia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Spread 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Southeast, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Acacia

Guides with Acacia

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