Vachellia farnesiana, also known as Acacia farnesiana, and previously
Mimosa farnesiana, commonly known as sweet acacia, huisache or
needle bush, is so named because of the numerous thorns distributed
along its branches. The native range of V. farnesiana is uncertain.
While the point of origin is Mexico and Central America, the species
has a pantropical distribution incorporating northern Australia and
southern Asia. It remains unclear whether the extra-American
distribution is primarily natural or anthropogenic. It is deciduous
over part of its range, but evergreen in most locales. The
species grows to a height of up to 8 m (26 ft) and has a
lifespan of about 25–50 years.
The plant has been recently[when?] spread to many new locations as a
result of human activity and it is considered a serious weed in Fiji,
where locals call it Ellington's curse. It thrives in dry, saline, or
sodic soils. It is also a serious pest plant in parts of Australia,
including north-west New South Wales, where it now infests thousands
of acres of grazing country.
The taxon name farnesiana is specially named after Odoardo Farnese
(1573–1626) of the notable Italian Farnese family which, after 1550,
under the patronage of cardinal Alessandro Farnese, maintained some of
the first private European botanical gardens in Rome, in the 16th and
17th centuries. Under stewardship of these
Farnese Gardens this acacia
was imported to Italy. The plant itself was brought to the Farnese
Gardens from the Caribbean and Central America, where it
originates. Analysis of essences of the floral extract from
this plant, long used in perfumery, resulted in the name for the
sesquiterpene biosynthetic chemical farnesol, found as a basic sterol
precursor in plants, and cholesterol precursor in animals.
Bark and Thorns of
Vachellia farnesiana - MHNT
Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Willd. - sweet acacia seeds
1 Some of the reported uses of the plant
1.5 Seed pods
1.8 Dyes and inks
1.9 Traditional medicine
2 Common names
4 External links
Some of the reported uses of the plant
The bark is used for its tannin content. Highly tannic barks are
common in general to acacias. Extracts of many are used in medicine
for this reason. (See cutch).
The leaves are used as a tamarind flavoring for chutneys and the pods
are roasted to be used in sweet and sour dishes.
The flowers are processed through distillation to produce a perfume
called Cassie. It is widely used in the perfume industry in Europe.
Flowers of the plant provide the perfume essence from which the
biologically important sesquiterpenoid farnesol is named.
Scented ointments from Cassie are made in India.
The foliage is a significant source of forage in much of its range,
with a protein content around 18%.
The concentration of tannin in the seed pods is about 23%.
The seeds of V. farnesiana are not toxic to humans and are a
valuable food source for people throughout the plant's range. The ripe
seeds are put through a press to make oil for cooking.
Nonetheless, an anecdotal report has been made that in
people use the seeds of V. farnesiana to eliminate rabid dogs. This
is attributed to an unnamed toxic alkaloid.
The tree makes good forage for bees.
Dyes and inks
A black pigment is extracted from the bark and fruit.
The bark and the flowers are the parts of the tree most used in
traditional medicine. V. farnesiana has been used in
treat malaria, and the extract from the tree bark and leaves has shown
some efficacy against the malarial pathogen
Plasmodium falciparum in
animal models .
Indigenous Australians have used the roots and
bark of the tree to treat diarrhea and diseases of the skin. The
tree's leaves can also be rubbed on the skin to treat skin
diseases.[unreliable source?][medical citation needed] In
Malaysia, an infusion of the plant's flowers and leaves is mixed with
turmeric for post-partum treatment.
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sweet acacia, Farnese wattle, dead finish, mimosa wattle, mimosa bush,
prickly mimosa bush, prickly Moses, needle bush, north-west curara,
sheep's briar, sponge wattle, sweet acacia, thorny acacia, thorny
feather wattle, wild briar, huisache, cassie, cascalotte, cassic,
mealy wattle, popinac, sweet briar, Texas huisache, aroma, (Bahamas)
cashia, (Bahamas, United States) opoponax, sashaw, (Belize) Aroma
amarilla, (Cuba) suntich, (Jamaica) sassie-flower, iron wood, cassie
flower, honey-ball, casha tree, casha, (Virgin Islands) cassia, (Fiji)
Ellington's curse, cushuh, (St. Maarten), huizache (Mexico).
Vachellia farnesiana". Natural Resources Conservation Service
PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
^ "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at
Austin". www.wildflower.org. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
^ Clarke, H.D., Seigler, D.S., Ebinger, J.E. 1989; 'Acacia farnesiana
(Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) and Related Species from Mexico, the
Southwestern U.S., and the Caribbean' Systematic Botany 14 549-564
^ PDF Ursula K. Schuch and Margaret Norem, Growth of Legume Tree
Species Growing in the Southwestern United States, University of
^ "Discover Life - Fabaceae: Acacia farnesiana (L. ) Willd. - Cassie
Vachellia farnesiana, Poponax farnesiana, Mimosa farnesiana,
Ellington Curse, Klu, Sweet Acacia, Mimosa Bush, Huisache".
Pick5.pick.uga.edu. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
^ a b c d "Purdue University". Hort.purdue.edu. 1997-12-16. Retrieved
^ "Acacia salicina Lindley" (PDF). Worldwidewattle.com. Retrieved
^ "Mimosa bush - briar bush". Northwestweeds.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved
^ "Etymology of farnesol, accessed August 27, 2009".
Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
^ a b "HENRY TRIMBLE AND F. D. MACFARLAND., AMERICAN JOURNAL OF
PHARMACY, Volume 57, #3, March, 1885" (PDF). Retrieved
^ "Location of the Farnese family gardens, now known only as a
remnant". Gardenvisit.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
^ "One-garden" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-19.
^ [dead link]
^ a b "Herbal remedy". Mhra.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
^ a b c "Bottlebrush Press". Bottlebrush Press. 2003-05-20. Retrieved
^ Garavito, G.; Rincón, J.; Arteaga, L.; Hata, Y.; Bourdy, G.;
Gimenez, A.; Pinzón, R.; Deharo, E. (2006). "Antimalarial activity of
some Colombian medicinal plants". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 107
(3): 460–462. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.03.033.
^ "Philippine Herbs Used in Small Animal Practice". Stuartxchange.org.
^ Samy, Joseph; Manickam, Sugumaran (2005). Herbs of Malaysia. Times
Editions. p. 29. ISBN 9833001793.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Interactive Distribution Map of
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Plant List: ild-423