If you don't like showoffs, don't choose the sweet acacia for your yard. This small shrub-like tree has wide-spreading lacy leaves and attracts attention with nearly year-round clusters of fluffy yellow ball-like flowers that last for weeks. The flowers (which are fragrant) and subsequent fruits attract birds and other wildlife, so if you plant this tree, expect some visitors. But watch your own hands; this tree has thorns.
The sweet acacia will do best in a hot and dry desert climate like Arizona or Texas, and it's a common landscape feature in Tucson and Austin yards. You can let this multi-trunk specimen grow naturally as a shrub or prune away side limbs to create the look of a single- or multi-limb tree.
On the next page, you'll find a tree with an Asian flavor.