in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Acacia (Vachellia) farnesiana: Sweet Acacia

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Form: Tree.
Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 15-25' high and wide.
Flowers: Orange to yellow puff-balls, about 1/2" in diameter, sweetly fragrant, abundant.
Bloom: Late fall through spring.
Fruit: Dark brown, tubular bean pod, not significantly constricted between beans.
Leaves: Tiny, oval, green, compound. Provides light filtered shade.
Stems: Paired spines at nodes of slightly zig-zag branches.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees.
Toxic / Danger: Spines.
Origin: California to Georgia, Florida, and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11 or 9b-11 depending on source of seed from which plant sprouted.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: In winter.
Litter: Low, except pruning.
Propagation: Seed.
Pests: Can be prone to mistletoe infection if given insufficient water.
Uses: Ornamental, shade.

Former scientific names include A. smallii, A. minuta, Mimosa farnesiana, Vachellia farnesiana. It is still listed as V. farnesiana instead of Acacia farnesiana by some organizations on the Internet. Cold hardiness dependent on where seeds are grown, leading to differing (former) species names between those derived from colder versus warmer zones.
This species 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, shorter and dark brown rather than reddish tan.

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Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia - flowers

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia - seed pods

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia