Acacia cyclops G. Don


Fabaceae (Pea Family)





                                             April Photo


Plant Characteristics: Glabrous shrub or small tree, branched from base, 1-5 m. high; leaves simple, coriaceous, oblong to oblanceolate, straight to slightly falcate or asymmetric, mostly 3-7  (-8) cm. long, .7-1.2 cm. wide, ca. 5-nerved sparsely reticulate between; basal gland evident or not; fls. in yellow heads solitary in leaf axils or 2-3 in small, axillary or terminal racemes; legume oblong, curved (to 180 degrees or more), laterally compressed, ca. 5-7 cm. long, 9-12 mm. wide; valves brown, thin-coriaceous, expressed over seed, at maturity separating and twisting; seeds black, with a conspicuous red aril plicate about the seed and 3/4 encircling it.


Habitat:  Urban California.  Occasional as cultivated ornamental.  March-August.


Name:  Greek, akakia, from ake, a point because of the prickles on many Acacia species.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 797).  Greek, Kyklops, a one-eyed giant.  (Jaeger 73).


General:  One plant on the Castaway's Bluffs with several more on the mesa near the old restaurant site.  John Johnson remembers the specimen on the bluffs from his early days at Newport Harbor High School which would indicate that it is at least 40 years old at this 1987 writing.  In 1996, four small trees were found on Shellmaker Island, some of the very few trees there. (my comments).       Acacia cyclops is enumerated by Mathias and McClintock (1963) and others.  It has been tried as a sand-binder in Golden Gate Park  (Jones 1933) but without much success.  It was told at the California Academy of Science that the species has recently been employed in highway plantings.  Sterile specimens of A. cyclops may resemble small-leaved forms of the more common A. melanoxyln, the latter is distinguishable by the more marked reticulation of the leaves, a basis of comparison.  Possibly A. cyclops hybridizes with other species in cultivation.  (Isely, Duane.  Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, 1973. Vol. 25, pp. 13-37.      Acacia species have been known to have caused hay fever and asthma in humans.  (Fuller 380).       An immense genus, chiefly in subtrop. regions, but especially in Africa and Australia.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 421).


Text Ref:  Hickman Ed. 581; Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, Vol. 25, pp. 13-37.

Photo Ref: March-April 87 # 23, 24A.

Identity: by F. Roberts.  

First Found: April 1987. 


Computer Ref:  Plant Data 294.

Plant specimen donated to UC Riverside in 2004.

Last edit  8/4/05.


                                      April Photo                                                                                 April Photo