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Acacia_farnesiana - (L.)Willd.

Common Name Sweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The seeds, containing an unnamed alkaloid, are used to kill rabid dogs in Brazil[269].
Habitats Dry sandy soils in pinelands, hammocks and disturbed areas in south-eastern N. America[229].
Range The original range is uncertain, but is probably tropical America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Acacia_farnesiana Sweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache

Acacia_farnesiana Sweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache


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Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Early spring, Early winter, Late summer, Late fall, Late spring, Late winter, Mid summer, Mid fall, Mid spring, Mid winter. Form: Rounded, Spreading or horizontal, Vase.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Acacia_farnesiana is a deciduous Shrub growing to 9 m (29ft 6in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in flower from February to March. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


A. acicularis Willd. A. (Small) Cory. A. ferox M.Martens & Galeotti. A. indica (Poir.) Desv. A. lenticellata F.Muell. A. minuta (M.E.Jones) R.M.Beauch. A. pedunculata Willd. A. smallii Isely. Farnesia odora Gasp. Farnesiana odora Gasp. Mimosa acicularis Poir. Mimosa farnesiana L. Mimosa indica Poir. Mimosa suaveolens Salisb. Pithecellobium acuminatum M.E.Jones. Pithecellobium minutum M.E.Jones. Popanax farnesiana (L.) Raf. [Spelling variant]. Poponax farnesiana (L.) Raf. Vachellia densiflora Small. Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Wight & Arn.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

A low-quality gum obtained from the plant is used to prepare sweets[272].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The bark is astringent and demulcent[240]. Along with the leaves and roots it is used for medicinal purposes[269]. Colombians bathe in the bark decoction as a treatment for typhoid[269]. The gummy roots have been chewed as a treatment for sore throat[269]. A decoction of the gum from the trunk has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[269]. An infusion of the flowers has been used as a stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of dyspepsia and neuroses[269]. The flowers are added to ointment, which is rubbed on the forehead to treat headaches[269]. The powdered dried leaves have been applied externally as a treatment for wounds[269]. The green pods have been decocted and used in the treatment of dysentery and inflammations of the skin and raucous membranes[269]. An infusion of the pod has been used in the treatment of sore throats, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, conjunctivitis, and uterorrhagia[269]. The juice of the bark is used in Nepal to treat swellings[272].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: In suitable climates, especially in India, Irag and the Mediterranean, the plant is grown extensively as a hedge and windbreak[82 , 310 ]. The trees have also been used for erosion control in sandy soils[269 , 272 ]. A good bee plant - the flowers are highly attractive to bees[227 , 274 , 310 ]. Other Uses: An essential oil called Cassie is distilled from the flowers[229, 269]. Cassie absolute is employed in preparation of violet bouquets and is extensively used in European perfumery[269]. Cassie pomades are manufactured in Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab. A deliciously scented essential oil, it has a fragrance of violets[245]. A mature plant 10 years old can yield 9 kg of flowers each year[245]. In a suitable climate, the trees begin to flower from their third year. The perfume is extracted from the flowers in form of concrete or pomade. Macerated flowers are placed in melted purified natural fat and allowed to stand for several hours. They are then replaced by fresh flowers and the process repeated until the fat is saturated with perfume. The fat is then melted, strained and cooled. This constitutes the pomade. Odour is that of violets but more intense. Absolute is prepared by mixing pomade with alcohol (2 - 3 kg to about 4 litres) and allowed to stand for 3 - 4 weeks at about -5°C. The alcohol is then separated and distilled over. The extract obtained is an olive-green liquid with strong odour of cassie flowers[269]. Mature trees can yield about 1 kilo of flowers per year[269]. The bark and the fruit are a source of tannin and used in making dyes and inks[227]. The seedpods contain about 23% tannin[240]. The bark, in combination with iron ores and salts, is used as a black dyestuff[269]. A gummy substance obtained from the young pods is used to mend pottery[227, 269]. A mucilage can be manufactured from the gummy sap[229]. A gum exuding from trunk is considered to be superior to gum arabic in arts[269]. The woody branches are used in India as tooth brushes[269]. In suitable climates the plant is grown as a hedge[82]. The trees have also been used for erosion control in sandy soils[269, 272]. Wood - heavy, hard, durable in the soil, close-grained. Used for fencing posts, agricultural implements, pegs, woodenware etc[82, 227, 269].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses: Pest tolerant. Originally tropical, Vachellia farnesiana can succeed from the warm temperate to tropical areas, where it is naturalized at elevations up to 400 metres and cultivated up to 1,200 metres[307 , 451 ]. It is particularly well adapted to arid and semi-arid grasslands and wastelands[1093 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 32°c, but can tolerate 7 - 42°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 400 - 1,400mm, but tolerates 150 - 4,000mm[418 ]. It prefers a minimum temperature no lower than 7°c[238 ]. Whilst this species is not very tolerant of cold, being damaged by even a few degrees of frost, the variety Acacia farnesiana cavenia seems to be more resistant to both drought and frost; and is said to be able to withstand short periods with temperatures falling to around -5°c[269 ]. Prefers a light sandy loam and a very sunny position sheltered from strong winds[1 , 49 , 89 ]. Plants can grow well in pure sand[269 ]. Most species in this genus become chlorotic on limey soils, though this species is said to have some tolerance[200 ]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[200 , 227 , 245 ]. The species and its cultivars are highly adaptable, and are reported to exhibit tolerance to drought, high pH, low pH, salty soils, both sands and clays[269 , 1093 ]. Plants tolerate a pH range from 5.0 to 8.0[269 ]. Acacia farnesiana is an aggressive colonizer and is regarded as an invasive weed both in parts of its native range and where introduced, notably in Australia, the USA, and some Pacific and Caribbean islands[1093 ]. In Australia it is a potential weed of grasslands, invading trampled areas, particularly along watercourses[286 ]. The plant has often escaped from cultivation and has been classified as 'Invasive' in many areas[305 ]. A fast-growing plant[307 ]. In a suitable climate, the trees begin to flower from their third year[245 ]. The flowers are sweetly fragrant. Young trees produce up to 1 kilo of flowers a year[310 ]. A well-managed mature plant 10 years old can yield 9 kg of flowers each year[245 ]. Although damaged by fire, the plant usually resprouts quickly from the base[305 ]. The plant responds well to coppicing[K ]. The leaves are peculiarly sensitive to changes of weather. When a cloud obscures the sun the opposite leaflets close together and so remain until the sky brightens. They also close at night, the plant appearing to sleep until the sun rises[459 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[269 ]. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse[1]. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 25°c[133]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame[78]. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Mimosa bush, Sweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, Huisache. Possibly listed as Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Wight & Arn.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Mimosa bush (Acacia farnesiana syn. Vachellia farnesiana) is often regarded as an environmental weed in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Acacia farnesianaSweet Acacia, Perfume Acacia, HuisacheShrub9.0 9-11 FLMHNDM224

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Readers comment

Lhara Madlangbayan   Sat Oct 28 2006

how true that this acacia farnesiana is exuding gum similar to gum arabic and also it can be a sourc e of glue? Im a student from the Philippines and we are making a research about that tree its common name in our country is "aroma"

preethamj   Sat Jun 30 2007

where it is found in india (karnataka)

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