Species list



Acacia, thorntree

Acacia, thorntree, whistling thorn, wattle (Eng); acacia, mimosa (Spa); acàcia (Cat); akazia (Baq); acacia (Glg); acácia (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? Some acacia species fold their leaves at dusk or at night, which is why they are sometimes known as mimosas, meaning ‘the spoiled one’ in Spanish.


The genus Acacia comprises about 1200 species of trees and shrubs, many are spiny, although others are unarmed. The leaves always have an entire margin and can be deciduous, compound and pinnate (twice or more). Some species are persistent with phyllodes, laminar expansions that function like leaves, but which are not (therefore they lack axillary buds). The flowers are yellow and aromatic. They are borne in globose or elongated groups which often form showy clusters. The fruit is a legume usually containing several seeds.

In the Canary Islands 4 arboreal species have naturalised:

1. Acacia dealbata Link. Golden wattle; mimosa. Evergreen tree with no thorns; bipinnate leaves, with 10-26 pairs of leaflets and no phyllodes; very aromatic yellow flowers in glomerules, grouped into clusters.

2. Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. Australian blackwood, Sally wattle, lightwood, hickory, mudgerabah, Tasmanian blackwood or black wattle; acacia, acacia negra. Evergreen tree with no thorns; leaves of young plants are bipinnate, in adult specimens they are reduced to 6-14 cm-long phyllodes; yellow flowers in globose glomerules.

3. Acacia saligna (Labill.) H.L. Wendl. [=Acacia cyanophylla Lindl.]. Coojong, golden wreath wattle, orange wattle, blue-leafed wattle, Western Australian golden wattle. Evergreen tree or shrub with no thorns; leaves 8-30 cm long, all reduced to phyllodes; yellow or orangey flowers in glomerules grouped into clusters.

4. Acacia salicina Lindl. Cooba, Native Willow, Willow Wattle, Broughton Willow, Sally Wattle, Black Wattle. Small evergreen tree with no thorns and somewhat drooping branches; all the leaves are reduced to narrow, linear to inversely lanceolate phyllodes, 4-16 cm long; flowers in pale yellow glomerules grouped into clusters.


Acacias adapt well to the natural conditions on the Canary Islands. They are very drought-resistant and grow well in full sunlight. Only strong winds can hinder their development. They grow rapidly and prosper on all substrates, including dry, poor and even limey and slightly saline soils. These trees are common in coastal zones and tend to occupy the lower reaches of ravines and the bottom of small dry pools. They can also proliferate in the humid monteverde forests, juniper groves, and scrub on the midslopes, or medianías (zones at altitudes of between 600 and 1500 m). Sometimes they form dense stands in relatively humid zones, like the humid pine forest, where they may be very aggressive. Additionally, they are able to become established in urbanised areas and environments altered by humans.


Most acacias are native to Australia and Tasmania, although some also originated in Asia, Africa and America.
  • 1. A. dealbata
  • 2. A. melanoxylon
  • 3. A. saligna
  • 4. A. salicina