An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.
Acacia, Sweet - Acacia farnesiana - family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae) (Mimosaceae) (Pea Family) (Pulse Family) (Mimosa Family).
This evergreen shrub or low tree grows to about ten feet high. It has spine-armed branches and fern-like compound leaves made up of many tiny linear dark bluish-green leaflets. It produces scented fuzzy bright yellow flower balls in the late winter and early spring. The flowers are followed by fat three-inch brown to purple spindle-shaped pods which contain the seeds. The pods and seeds were used by the Australian aborigines as a food source. The bark and the roots have been traditionally used by Aborigines of Australia as remedies for diarrhea and for skin diseases. The flowers are the source of an essential oil, called Cassie oil or Mimosa oil, which is obtained by distillation and is used in perfumes. The bark and the seed pods yield a black dye. Native to the American Southwest, Mexico and Tropical America. Naturalized in southeast Asia, Australia and Africa. Naturalized in California. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America.
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Web page last updated on 20 May 2003.