Catalog Number: US 1635693
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): M. E. Jones
Year Collected: 1930
Locality: Above Primiera Agua, near Loreto., Baja California Sur, Mexico, North America
- Isotype: Jones, M. E. 1933. Contr. W. Bot. 18: 38.
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Vachellia farnesiana
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vachellia farnesiana
Public Records: 19
Specimens with Barcodes: 19
Species With Barcodes: 1
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acacia farnesiana
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widely distributed in tropical America and spread by cultivation and naturalization. In thickets and forests in the dry coastal and dry limestone regions of Puerto Rico.
Biological Research Needs: Native or exotic status in the United States is unclear. According to Scurlock (1987), Acacia farnesiana is native to Florida, the West Indies, and Mexico. It is cultivated for perfume in Europe. Adams (1972) writes that this species is native to the Old World, now widespread in tropical and subtropical parts of both hemispheres. According to Little and Wadsworth (1964), this tree is widely distributed in tropical America and spread by cultivation and naturalization; naturalized in southeastern United States (FL to LA); also naturalized in Old World Tropics. -N. Benton (TNC-HO, 11/96)
Vachellia farnesiana, also known as Acacia farnesiana, and previously Mimosa farnesiana, commonly known as 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.
Some of the reported uses of the plant
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.
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 Brazil some 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 Colombia to 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]
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, USA) opoponax, sashaw, (Belize) 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).
- 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 Arizona.
- "Discover Life - Fabaceae: Acacia farnesiana (L. ) Willd. - Cassie Flower, Vachellia farnesiana, Poponax farnesiana, Mimosa farnesiana, Ellington Curse, Klu, Sweet Acacia, Mimosa Bush, Huisache". Pick5.pick.uga.edu. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Purdue University". Hort.purdue.edu. 1997-12-16. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Acacia salicina Lindley". Worldwidewattle.com. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
- "Mimosa bush - briar bush". Northwestweeds.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
- "Etymology of farnesol, accessed August 27, 2009". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "HENRY TRIMBLE AND F. D. MACFARLAND., AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY, Volume 57, #3, March, 1885" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "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]
- "Herbal remedy". Mhra.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
- "Bottlebrush Press". Bottlebrush Press. 2003-05-20. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- 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. PMID 16713157.
- "Philippine Herbs Used in Small Animal Practice". Stuartxchange.org. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
Names and Taxonomy
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