Vachellia farnesiana, also known as Acacia farnesiana, and previously Mimosa farnesiana, commonly known as sweet acacia, huisache or needle bush, is so named because of the numerous thorns distributed along its branches.
The native range of V. farnesiana is uncertain. While the point of origin is Mexico and Central America, the species has a pantropical distribution incorporating northern Australia and southern Asia.
The plant has been recently spread to many new locations as a result of human activity and it is considered a serious weed in Fiji, where locals call it Ellington’s curse.
The taxon name farnesiana is specially named after Odoardo Farnese (1573–1626) of the notable Italian Farnese family which, after 1550, under the patronage of cardinal Alessandro Farnese, maintained some of the first private European botanical gardens in Rome, in the 16th and 17th centuries. Under stewardship of these Farnese Gardens this acacia was imported to Italy. The plant itself was brought to the Farnese Gardens from the Caribbean and Central America, where it originates.