Acacia minuta (syn Vachelia farnesiana) - Sweet Wattle or Needle Bush

  • The very thorny Acacia species is native to Mexico and Central America but spread around the Southern Hemisphere. The bipinnate leaves are made of tiny leaflets, growing among large thorns. It makes a great bonsai because of its small leaves and suckers, branching out freely. From Spring to Summer the scented yellow puff ball flowers open, followed by large, decorative seedpods that will turn brown during Autumn. The seeds are in fact edible and good for flour. With it not being a very frost hardy plant, it can only withstand light morning frosts. Therefore, it can only be planted out on the Southern Coast and cities such as London. If not, it is best to keep it in a large pot on the patio or in a conservatory and over the Winter for it to be frost free. A great ornamental plant, rarely offered.


Also known as: Huisache (meaning "thorn")

Native to: Central America

Family: Fabaceae - Pea Family

Habit (UK conditions): small tree in a pot (fast grower)

Typical size in 5 years (UK conditions, in pot):  2-3 x 1m

Main value: flowers, foliage, thorns

Flowers are: bright yellow

Flowering period: May-August (intermittently)

Autumn coloration: - (evergreen)

Preferences: full sun with moderate watering

Hardiness: not hardy in most of the UK and in Western, Central and Northern Europe

 Known hazards: none to our knowledge

Edible uses: some sources state that the seeds are edible and provides flour in the tropics for some locals


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