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Sweet Acacia

Acacia farnesiana
(Vachellia farnesiana)

Acacia farnesiana photo by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 26 Jan, 2008. The high resolution version of this image is hosted at Wikimedia where there are more images of Sweet Acacia.

Acacia farnesiana fruit/pods photo by Michael Plagens

Mature bean pods of Acacia farnesiana photographed in Glendale, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 28 July 2009.

TREE : A small to medium sized tree with dark, fissured bark and abundant feathery leaves.

FLOWERS: Capitate spikes of numerous yellow flowers with prominent stamens bloom very early in spring and sporadically at other seasons.

ARMED. At the nodes of the twigs there are pairs of straight, whitish spines which may vary considerably in length.

LEAVES: Twice compound leaves. Frost or extended drought deciduous.

RANGE: Uncommon in many areas of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, but more common to the south and in cultivation. Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. The trees are widely planted in xeriscapes.

FRUIT: Mature bean pods are 5 to 9 cm long, almost circular in cross section, tough, and contain a few to several brown bean seeds. The end of the pod has a sharp prickle and a fair amount of dry pulp surrounds the seeds. The pods usually do not split open along the seam. Often times small holes in the pods will indicate that some of the seeds have been hollowed out by bean weevils which have since emerged.

exit holes in sweet acacia pods made by Algarobius bean weevil, photo by Michael Plagens

Fabaceae -- Bean Family
Mimosoideae -- Mimosa Subfamily

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 3 November 2008,
updated 24 April 2013