Acacia verticillata
prickly Moses

Fabaceae (pea family)
South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, N.S.W.
Acacia verticillata. From An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino

Light airy foliage gives this plant a pleasing appearance. The phyllodes take the form of soft needles less than an inch long grouped in whorls. They are prickly enough to be handled gingerly (but not like kangaroo thorn, which can hardly be handled at all); this acacia is one of those known locally in Australia as prickly Moses (a corruption of mimosa). The plant became a conservatory favorite in cold climates. An example on Campus Drive, north of the Cogen Facility, was lost recently to road realignment.

Name derivation: Acacia – Greek akis, a sharp point; verticillata whorled (the phyllodes).

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.