Acacias are a large group of tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs belonging to the legume family. These beautiful trees are easily identified by their spreading canopy, fern-like, evergreen leaves, and fragrant flowers. Though they are unique in appearance, there are a few other trees that share some of these characteristics. Read on to learn more about the trees that look like acacia.
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Trees That Look Like Acacia
Mimosa trees and shrubs are closely related to acacias, as both are technically considered legumes and belong to the Fabaceae family. Mimosas can be found in many regions throughout the world, including tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas.
Both mimosas and acacias have beautiful fern-like leaves that are almost identical to each other.
What’s more, mimosas have wispy, brush-like flowers that are similar in overall shape and appearance to many found in the acacia family.
Mimosas do not have the distinctive spreading canopy which acacias are generally known for, but not all acacias take this shape either.
Both trees produce seed pods when the flowers die, hence their inclusion in the legume family.
The most notable difference between mimosas and acacias is that many acacias have thorns, while mimosas do not.
What’s more, the flowers of mimosa trees are typically a soft pink, while acacia flowers are usually a brighter yellow, red, or white.
Finally, mimosas are deciduous, while acacias are evergreen.
Check out this video to learn more about mimosa trees:
Locust trees are found in primarily temperate regions throughout the world. Like acacias, they also belong to the legume family.
Like other legumes, locust trees produce seed pods. The appearance of these pods can vary depending on the type of locust tree in question, but they are generally large and flat.
Locust tree leaves appear similar to the leaves of acacia trees in that they are compound and made up of many smaller leaflets to produce a fern-like appearance. That said, the leaflets of locust trees are generally a bit larger than those of acacia trees.
Another similarity is that some locust trees, particularly honey locust, have thorns, though these thorns are generally much larger than the thorns found on acacia trees.
Though locust trees produce flowers, they are not wispy like acacia flowers. They tend to be pea-blossom-shaped and grow in large flower clusters.
What’s more, locust trees tend to grow tall more than they spread out. Though acacia trees can also grow quite tall, they are more well-known for their dense, spreading canopies.
3. Sweet Acacia
This tree is native to Central America but has been introduced throughout much of the world. It was once considered part of the acacia family but now belongs to a different genus, Vachellia.
This small tree only grows about 15 to 30 tall, which makes it much smaller than some acacias, but nearly the same size as others.
Its compound, fern-like leaves look almost identical to those of acacia trees. It also contains beautiful, brush-like yellow flowers that look similar to the blossoms of many acacias.
Like acacias, this tree produces a gum-like substance, tannins, and dark-colored pigments that have many commercial uses.
The main thing that sets this tree apart from true acacias is that it is no longer considered an acacia. In an effort to reduce the large size of the Acacia genus, many trees, including the sweet acacia, were given different designations.
However, in terms of appearance, uses, and even common name, this tree is practically indistinguishable from an acacia.
This is another tree that was formerly considered an acacia, but which now belongs to the genus Vachellia. Native to Africa and Asia, it looks very similar to the sweet acacia tree described above and, therefore, to an acacia tree.
This tree shares many characteristics with both the sweet acacia and a true acacia. It produces a gum-like substance, fragrant, bushy flowers, and fern-like leaves.
Its seed pods are unique, having a lumpy, bulging appearance.
Again, the only thing separating this tree from a true acacia is the fact that it is no longer in the Acacia genus. It is identical to an acacia in every notable way.
A surprising addition to this list, redwood trees are found only along the Pacific coast of the United States, primarily in California.
Though they are very different from acacia trees, one thing they have in common is their leaves. The foliage of redwood trees is made up of flat, compound leaflets that have a beautiful fern-like appearance.
Redwoods and acacias are both considered evergreens as well. Of course, this evergreen designation and the shape of their leaves is pretty much where the similarities end.
Redwood trees grow much larger than acacias (nearly 400 feet tall) and are known for their erect, lightly-foliaged appearance. Meanwhile, though some acacias can grow fairly tall, they are more well-known for their dense, spread-out canopy.
Acacia trees are unique in appearance, but there are some other trees in the world that have similar characteristics. These include the mimosa, locust, sweet acacia, babul, and even redwood trees.