Earleaf Acacia – Acacia auriculiformis
Category 1 Invasive plant
Family – Fabaceae (Leguminosae)/Pea Family
Description – Compact tree to 50 feet in height, evergreen, commonly with multiple stems/trunks. Leaves are simple, alternate, 5-8 inches long, and dark green with flattened stalks. Flowers are yellow-orange in spikes at the leaf axis and clusters of spikes at the tips of the stems. Fruit is a flat oblong pod that twists and splits open as it matures, black seeds hang by a bright orange aril.
Used in landscaping for many years since its introduction as an ornamental. Now found in pinelands, scrubs, hammocks, and disturbed areas.