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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet

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Acacia farnesiana-Sweet Acacia

In the spring, sweet acacia lives up to its common name by perfuming the air with masses of fragrant yellow-orange puffball flowers. This tree is extremely tough, and will grow in almost any situation, from hot parking lots to turf areas and will even tolerate poorly drained situations. Its moderate size (to 25 feet tall and wide), fast growth rate, and attractive vase-shaped form make it a popular choice for desert landscapes.

However, be aware that this tree is quite messy, and requires some maintenance as the plump hard seed pods can be rather messy.
 The pods also contain many seeds that sprout readily with extra moisture and the resulting volunteers can become weedy in certain situations.  Sweet acacia should be kept away from swimming pools, as the pods can create quite a bit of litter.

Sweet acacia really wants to be a big bush, producing many thorny suckers at the base. Removal of these suckers, as well as selective pruning, is required to develop an upright tree form.  Although sweet acacia is cold hardy to 10 F, it sheds some of its foliage in the winter and flowering can be impaired by cold temperatures.
  The flowers appear in late winter and through the spring and sometimes into fall. The branches have 1 inch long paired white spines to 2" that can be a nuisance when pruning.  

It can be evergreen in mild winters and is native of Arizona and of Texas from 2500-5000'.


Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 10, 2003