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Botanical Name: Acacia farnesiana
Synonyms: Acacia farnesiana Willd., Acacia acicularis, Acacia minuta, Mimosa farnesiana., Vachellia farnesiana
Common name: The Cassie Flower, Mimosa bush, Cassie flower, Farnese wattle, Thorny acacia, Yellow mimosa, Briar bush, Dead finish, Downs mimosa, False mesquite, Mimosa wattle, Needle bush, Perfumed wattle, Prickly mimosa bush, Sponge flower
Collection Period: July- Aug.
Seed longevity: 1-2 years
Description: Woody shrub up to 7 m high, but usually 1-3 m, very branched with an intricate habit, very spiny. Bark grey-brown smooth or scaly, twigs often zigzagged (sympodic growth), leaves alternate, shortly petiolated, bipinnate with 2-4 pairs of pinnulae having 8-10 (20) pairs of leaflets each leaflets obtuse of a green-bluish colour, 3-6 x 1-2 mm. Stipulate axillary pairs of thorns 0.2-3 cm long, sometimes lacking. Flowers of an orange color, very fragrant with a smell of violet, grouped in 50 or more globose heads 1.5-2.0 cm in diameter, grouped by 2-3, or isolated on an 8-35 mm long slender, hairy-downy peduncle. The fruit is a green pod, turning black or dark brown at maturity, thick, indehiscent, cylindrical, 4-8 cm long and 0.8-1.5 cm in diameter, each contains 12 to 14 seeds. Seeds transversally set in the pods, ovoid, compressed, 6-7 x 4-5 mm, coated with a characteristic whitish medulla. Life span 10-50 years.
Uses: It is of considerable value in supplementing the diet of roughage provided by the Astrebla and Dichanthium native grasses in the dry season. Fine textured heavy wood, amenable to a nice polish, pods are eaten by stock before maturity, at maturity they become woody, hard, unpalatable. A. farnesiana makes good defensive hedges, it is sometimes planted for its flowers that provide a fragrant essential oil used in the perfume industry as a violet scent substitute.