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Common Name:

Sweet Acacia

Scientific Name:

Acacia farnesiana

Family Name:

Leguminosae (Fabaceae)


Sweet Acacia is a small vase-shaped tree native to South Texas and Mexico. The semi-evergreen fine textured foliage, fragrant yellow spring flowers, and tenacity in harsh environments are assets. The twin thorns at nodes and on older branches make it a rancher's nightmare. Suitable as an accent tree or for naturalizing in the Southern third of Texas.

Plant Habit or Use:

Small tree, tropical



Flower Color:

Bright yellow to golden yellow powder puff of stamens

Blooming Period:

Spring, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Pod, not ornamental


15 ft to 20 ft, rarely 40 ft


20 ft to 25 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Extremely durable plant, adapted to most soils as long as they are well drained. Flowering is impaired by cold harsh winters in zone 8. Somewhat difficult to transplant. Can be invasive.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.