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huisache, needle bush, sweet acacia

Habit Shrubs or trees, erect or prostrate to ascending, to 8 m; bark dark gray to brown, furrowed.

usually slightly flexuous, usually glabrous, not glutinous; short shoots present.


7–65 mm;

stipular spines terete, straight, 2–35(–55) × 0.5–1.4 mm near base;

petiole (3–)6–12(–17) mm, usually sparsely to densely pubescent, hairs erect;

petiolar gland 1, usually medial on petiole, sessile or short-stalked, circular to slightly elongated, 0.2–1 mm, apex depressed;

rachis 10–55 mm;

pinnae 2–6(or 7) pairs, 6–33 mm;

leaflets 8–19 pairs per pinna, blades flat, oblong, 1.6–6.3 × 0.5–1.7 mm, base oblique and obtuse, apex broadly acute to obtuse, surfaces glabrous, glabrate, or pubescent abaxially, glabrous adaxially.


globose heads, densely flowered, 6–10 mm diam., solitary or clusters of 2–5 on short shoots;

involucre at base of head (not obvious).


12–36(–45) mm.


bright yellow;

calyx 1.1–1.8 mm, glabrous;

corolla 1.9–2.8 mm, glabrous;

filaments yellow, 3.5–5.5 mm.


oblong, nearly terete or elliptic in cross section, 30–170 × 9–18 mm, constricted or not between seeds.


biseriate, uniseriate, or irregularly arranged.

Vachellia farnesiana

from USDA
Mexico; Central America; s United States; West Indies; c South America; s South America; intro­duced in Europe; Africa
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Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).

Vachellia farnesiana is the most widespread and morphologically variable species in the genus. Segregate species, subspecies, varieties, and forms have been recognized based on habit, leaflet shape, stem and leaflet pubescence, number of pinna pairs, legume size and shape, and seed position.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Shrubs, to 1.5 m, prostrate to ascending; leaflet blades 1.6–3 mm.
var. pinetorum
1. Shrubs or trees, to 8 m, erect; leaflet blades 3–6.3 mm.
→ 2
2. Legumes 30–90 mm; seeds biseriate or irregularly arranged.
var. farnesiana
2. Legumes 100–170 mm; seeds uniseriate.
var. minuta
Source FNA vol. 11.
Parent taxa Fabaceae > subfam. Caesalpinioideae (Mimosoid clade) > Vachellia
Sibling taxa
V. bravoensis, V. choriophylla, V. constricta, V. cornigera, V. macracantha, V. rigidula, V. schottii, V. tortuosa, V. vernicosa
Subordinate taxa
V. farnesiana var. farnesiana, V. farnesiana var. minuta, V. farnesiana var. pinetorum
Synonyms Mimosa farnesiana, Acacia farnesiana
Name authority (Linnaeus) Wight & Arnott: Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 1: 272. (1834)
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