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in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

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Growing Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia

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Description
Form: Tree.
Lifespan: Less than 50 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen except cold-deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 15-35' high and wide.
Flowers: Orange to yellow puff-balls, about 1/2" in diameter, sweetly fragrant, abundant. The pollen may trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.
Bloom: Late fall through spring.
Fruit: A dark brown, tubular bean pod. The seeds are non-toxic to humans but toxic to dogs.
Leaves: Tiny, oval, green, compound. Provides light filtered shade.
Stems: Paired thorns at nodes of slightly zig-zag branches.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and bees. Deer, javelina and cattle eat the seedpods.
Toxic / Danger: Thorns.
Origin: California to Georgia, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11 or 9b-11 depending on the source of the seed from which the plant sprouted.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. This tree is shade intolerant.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). This tree has good saline tolerance. *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: In winter. This tree flowers on old wood, so pruning may reduce flowering.
Litter: Seed pods, leaves.
Propagation: Seed.
Pests: Can be prone to mistletoe infection if given insufficient water.
Uses: Ornamental, xeric garden. The flowers are used to make Cassie Flower perfume in Europe.

Comments
This plant is a member of the Legume family (Leguminosae) with a scientific synonym of Vachellia farnesiana. This plant is widespread throughout the Americas and its appearance varies with the local climate.
Acacia farnesiana differs from Acacia constricta in that it has a more definite, and larger, central trunk when multiple trunks develop. The bean pods are tubular rather than flattened, and shorter and dark brown rather than long and reddish tan.



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Latest update: February, 2019.

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia - flowers

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia - seed pods

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia