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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/15/2012)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/15/2012)
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 4:1083. 1806.
Synonym Mimosa farnesiana L. Sp. P1. 521. 1753. Acacia acicularis Willd. Enum. 1056. 1809. Vachellia farnesiana Wight & Arn. Prodr. Fl. Penins. Ind. Or. 272. 1834.
Reference Bentham (Trans. Linn. Soc. 30:502. 1875)
Synonym Acacia edulis H. & B., A. lenticellata F. Muell., A. leptophylla DC., A. pedunculata Willd., Farnesia odora Gaspar., Mimosa pedunculata Poir., M. scorpioides Forsk.
Description Shrubs or occasionally small trees, the branchlets frequently somewhat pilose when young becoming glabrous, prominently lenticellate, armed with slender, solid (but hlaving a soft pith), whitish, stipular spines up to about 3 cm. long, these not ant-infested. Leaves moderately small, bipinnate, the pinnae 2-6 pairs opposite on the rachis, the leaflets mostly 10-20 pairs per pinna; petiole up to 1 cm. long, terete except somewhat flattened above, usually tomentulose-subhirsute, bear- ing a sessile, oblong gland above the middle; rachis 1-5 cm. long, similar to the petiole, usually bearing a gland at insertion of the terminal pair of pinnae; pinnular rachis 1-3 cm. long, flattened above, often bearing a minute gland just below insertion of the terminal pair of leaflets; leaflets narrowly oblong, about 4 mm. long and 1 mm. wide, rounded apically, obliquely rounded or truncate basally, glabrous except frequently ciliate marginally, the costa prominent but other venation usually obscure. Inflorescence of axillary, pedunculate heads, these 1 to few from foliate nodes; peduncles mostly 1-2.5 cm. long, pubescent; heads dense, globular; floral bracts narrowly oblanceolate, tipped white-pilose. Flowers small, yellow, sessile, fragrant; calyx funnelform-cupulate, about 1 mm. long, glabrous except on the shallow teeth; corolla narrowly funnelform, about 2 mm. long, gla- brous except on tips of the lobes, the lobes relatively short; stamens many, little more than 3 mm. long, free except at the extreme base. Legume linear-oblongoid, up to 6 or 7 cm. long and almost 1 cm. wide, turgid-subterete, glabrous, longi- tudinally confluent-striate, tardily dehiscent, coriaceous, with a sweet pulp, pithy in age, septate, the seeds transverse.
Habit Shrubs trees
Distribution Southern United States and Mexico to Argentina; West Indies; introduced into many parts of the Old World.
Specimen CANAL ZONE: Balboa, Standley 30841; Las Cruces Trail, Hunter d Allen 682; Pittier 262I. COCLE]: Penonom , Williams 136. PANAMA: R. Jagua, Hunter d Allen 479; Juan Diaz, Standley 30535; Nuevo San Francisco, Standley 30703.
Note This abundant species is of some economic importance. Leaves and pods serve as food for stock, while the heavy wood is used for fuel. The bark and legume are a source of tannin. An exudate from the trunk is reported useful as a mucilage. In southern France especially the species has been extensively cultivated for the perfume industry. Acacia farnesiana is not clearly distinct from what commonly passes as another Linnean species in Central and northern South America, A. tortuos. Without access to authentic material of these two species, no attempt is made to pass judg- ment on them. The pod of A. tortuosa is typically pubescent, while that of A. farnesiana is glabrous and shorter. Yet intermediacy in this character is found, as well as in other characteristics which are quite different in their extremes. The unsnarling of these few related species will require more critical study than is possible in this Flora.
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