Identifying Acacia confusa

This page is intented to help by the indentifcation of a Acacia confusa tree!


Acacia confusa is from SE Asia: China (Southern), Philippines (Northern), Japan (Southern) and Taiwan. It prefers semi-tropical to tropical situations. In Taiwan they grow island wide up to about 2,000m. This covers true tropical forests, seasonal monsoon type forests, rainforests and trees can withstand down to 1-2C. The southern region of Taiwan gets dry in winter, there can be as long as 6 months without rain, while in the wet season it can rain non-stop for over a month.

Acacia confusa is protected in the mountains of Taiwan because it is probably the most important species that helps prevent landslides and soil erosion in heavy rains and earthquakes. Outside of this, we do not know this to be protected anywhere, and in some places (Hawaii, USA) it has become an invasive species due to humans planting it.


The Flowers

Acacia confusa flowers emerge from the end of the stem (terminal) and produce roughly 6-20mm diameter balls of yellow flowers. Flowering season in Taiwan is usually summer, but it may occur sporadically year round.

Acacia confusa_flowers opened and unopened

Acacia confusa - Open Flower Close-up

The Fruits

The seed pods of Acacia confusa look like miniature flattened bean pods. Seed pods can get up to 10cm in length and contain up to 11 seeds.

Acacia confusa_a mature dehisced pod with seeds

Acacia confusa_a small pod with two seeds_Shenzhen

The seeds of Acacia confusa are light brown-creamy and are orthodox, meaning they can be dried and stored.

Acacia confusa_a dehisced pod with seeds exposed

Acacia confusa_Dried seed pods

The seeds of Acacia confusa contain Neurolathryogen which can cause neurological damage, paralysis and death!



The Phyllodes (Leafs)

Acacia confusa do not have true leaves, but phyllodes. They can grow up to 11cm long and 2cm wide. They are usually slightly curved, like a scimitar, and have 3-5 parallel veins running down them. They are waxy/leathery in texture and appear alternately on the stem.

Acacia confusa - Leaves close-up

The Stem

Stems of Acacia confusa are rough, though not ridged and without spines. The bark is up to 2cm thick and often red-pink inside with yellow inner bark on younger stems. Many stems reach out from as low as ground level to make either a multi trunked tree or a solitary tree. Both growth habits are common with branching occurring at any height. Stems will obtain little more than 1m in diameter with age if they are not destroyed by natural or unnatural forces.


Dried Acacia confusa stem/trunk bark.


The Root

Acacia confusa roots are incredibly hard wood and very strong. They have adapted to growing through rock, and to hold themselves up in truly incredible style in rugged mountains that routinely see 1m+ a day rains and winds over 200KMH. The roots of Acacia confusa are very beautiful yellow outer wood with a dark red inner wood from the tannins. They are very curved and sculpted, and make very beautiful ornaments and small wood crafts. The density of the root wood is incredibly hard, just as a guess it would be harder than maple.

Acacia confusa-Root Bark Harvest-Hawaii2

Dried Acacia confusa root bark.