Texas Huisache, Sweet Acacia

Acacia smallii

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Acacia (a-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: smallii (SMAL-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Acacia minuta subsp. densiflora
Synonym:Vachellia densiflora




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Brawley, California

Pinellas Park, Florida

Brownsville, Texas

Cedar Creek, Texas

Laredo, Texas

Marion, Texas

Mason, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Richmond, Texas (2 reports)

Rockport, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

San Marcos, Texas

Sanderson, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 26, 2013, CarrieLI54 from Marion, TX wrote:

In the area NE of San Antonio, Huisache, or known as cat's claw by some of the locals, is a terrible overgrowth in pastures. Personally, I'm so allergic, just the smell of the blooms causes instant headaches and difficulty breathing. We have 30 acres and I have gotten rid of every single one of these nuisances wherever it has sprouted! When we had a mild snow in Feb. of 2012, the leaves did take a setback. Then with a few mild rains in the winter this year, this tree/shrub has never come back so abundantly. Also, we ride, train and teach horsemanship on our farm, these trees are wicked for horses and riders that may run through them. Earlier this Spring, a number of people I know were still complaining of cedar allergy when the cedar was finished. It makes me wonder if it may actually hav... read more


On Mar 28, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

While drought tolerant, our winter rains made these trees really stand out all over my area in spring 2012. They were located in wilderness type areas, I didn't notice any of these trees in residential gardens, though I'm sure there are. I don't grow it, primarily b/c of thorns.


On Jun 16, 2010, danceswithwolfspider from Roanoke, TX wrote:

As a young girl growing up in Laredo, Texas, we climbed the giant huisache tree in my firiend's yard. It had a triple trunk at least 4 feet in diameter at the base. One trunk leaned out over their yard about 8 feet off the ground. We could climb up from the base, shimmy out along the trunk, and sit up there. Don't remember any thorns. Perhaps the dad kept thorns trimmed away near the base. Loved that tree.


On Oct 20, 2009, JohnTS71 from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ok im going to give this tree a neutral rating only because it would take over my backyard if I let it grow and its a pain to trim this tree. It grows like a weed. I went on vacation and it rained a lot while I was away. I come back and it grew like a foot! It has thorns which have poked me repeatedly even though I try to be careful. If you got a big backyard then let it grow. If you are trying to get rid of it I would suggest removing the whole thing or it will come back and back and back. I wish I could keep it but the constant trimming is way to much work to do this just about every week in the spring/summer cause of its fast rate of growth. It started grown when I moved in (oct 07) and if I wouldnt have trimmed this it would be over 8 feet tall easily.


On Jun 1, 2009, nogottarancho from Maricopa, AZ wrote:

seems almost indestructible; we give it plenty of water once a week and never seems to mind over water or under water. growing like a weed and still not bloomed...maybe next year; multiple trunks and we are letting it grow on its own, no pruning yet.


On Jun 21, 2008, eje812 from Port Lavaca, TX wrote:

it grows in port lavaca(zone 9a) and can be found in abandoned and neglected areas. my favorite part of the trees are the sensitive leaves. i usually call them touch me nots because the leaves will close when disturbed by insects,animals,humans, and cold weather.


On Aug 23, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Acacia smallii is Native to Texas and other States.


On Jul 31, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this tree, but have observed it in its natural habitat and in landscape plantings.

Sweet Acacia (Texas huisache) is a native tree or large shrub that can be found in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida. Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas and the Virgin Islands. In Texas, it grows in the South Texas Plains and Edwards Plateau regions. It tolerates both desert and lawn plantings, is fast growing to 15-30 feet, prefers full sun, is hardy to about 15 to 20 degrees F. and can be trained as a multiple- or single-trunked tree. It respouts readily when disturbed. Not picky about soil types, sweet acacia is easy to grow in any acid or alkaline soil. It is semi-deciduous to deciduous.

Sweet Acacias are popular an... read more


On Mar 14, 2004, Francoise from San Marcos, TX wrote:

About 11 years ago, we bought a house with about 6 acres. Our home sits 400 feet from the road, and I wanted to grow something that I didn't have to worry about watering next to the road. We've left the first half of the lot, completely wild. So, I bought two huisache plants. They are about 20 feet tall now, and I only watered them when I planted them (Kind of hard hauling water that far). Today (3-14-04) I got out of my car (as I said about 400 feet away) and a smell that makes me think of heaven assailed me. It was the huisache just starting to bloom. I've been told that they are killed by frost, but will grow back again. I'm in zone 8b. Everything else I have ever planted has done poorly here. I LOVE my huisache, and as an extra bonus, my deer don't!!


On Mar 14, 2004, dbaker wrote:

Plant grows in Port Lavaca, Calhoun Co.,TX.