With cooler temperatures, one is more apt to go out on rangeland and deal with difficult brush plants like huisache, a common problem here in the Coastal Bend.  Some control options will work on this brush specie in the fall.  So let’s take a closer look at this common pest.

Huisache is a small tree in the legume family, shaped like an upside-down cone. This shrub to small tree is a native, warm-season perennial commonly called "sweet acacia." The stems, which can reach 15 feet tall, have many spines that are paired, straight, pale and pinlike.

The leaflets are gray-green and twice-compounded with eight to 16 divisions, each having 10 to 20 pairs of small, sensitive leaflets.  The flowers are produced on a fragrant, yellow, fluffy ball with many clusters of yellow stamens. Huisache fruits are black and tapered at each end. The seedpods are cylindrical and 1½ to 3 inches long; when mature, they turn dark brown or black.

Sometimes confused with twisted acacia, huisache can be distinguished by its spreading growth form, the shorter and broader legume, and the position and/or presence of a gland on the petiole, or leaf stem. In huisache, the petiolar gland is either absent or located near the middle of the leaf petiole.