Mariosousa willardiana

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Mariosousa willardiana
Palo blanco 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Mariosousa
Species: M. willardiana
Binomial name
Mariosousa willardiana
(Rose) Seigler & Ebinger[1]
  • Acacia willardiana Rose

Mariosousa willardiana, also called Palo Blanco tree,[2] palo liso, guinola[3] and Willard Acacia, is a normally evergreen plant in the genus Mariosousa native to Mexico. The Spanish common name translates into 'white stick', defining its peeling white bark. A compound called Willardiine, that acts as an agonist in glutamate receptors, can be isolated from M. willardiana.[4][5]


It can grow 10–20 ft or more with a spread of 1/3 to 2/3 the height. It is a very slender tree with few branches as well as leaves. The petiolar-rachis is characteristically long and functions as a cladophyll. it has a white or yellow-colored peeling off bark. The leaves have 5-6 leaflets in the end. It may drop leaves in autumn and winter. The flowers are like catkins, rod or bottle-brush-like, white or light yellow in color. The pods are multichambered, and 3-4 in long specimens.[6] The flowers occur in pale yellow spikes.[7]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The plant is endemic to Sonora (Sonoran desert), Mexico. It prefers rocky bajdas, slopes and arroyos from 0 to 2,000 feet elevation.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seigler DS, Ebinger JE, Miller JT (2006). "Mariosousa, a New Segregate Genus from Acacia s.l. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae) from Central and North America". Novon. 16 (3): 413–420. doi:10.3417/1055-3177(2006)16[413:MANSGF]2.0.CO;2. 
  2. ^ Phillips, S. J.; Patricia Wentworth Comus (2000). A natural history of the Sonoran Desert (PDF). Arizona: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press. p. 230. ISBN 0-520-21980-5. 
  3. ^ Dimmitt, M. A. "Acacia willardiana". Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. ASDM Sonoran Desert Museum Digital Library. 
  4. ^ Klaassen, C. D.; John Barr Watkins (2010). "Toxic Agents". Casarett and Doull's essentials of toxicology (PDF). USA: McGraw-Hill Prof Med/Tech. p. 374. ISBN 978-0-07-176651-7. 
  5. ^ Atta-ur- Rahman (2000). "Interference of Alkaloids". Bioactive Natural Products (Part B), Part 2 (PDF). Amsterdam: Alsevier Science B. V. p. 72. 
  6. ^ Moore, Tony. "Acacia willardia, Palo blanco, Fabaceae Family". Government of Arizona. 
  7. ^ Jaeger, E. C. (1957). The North American deserts (PDF). California: Stanford University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0-8047-0498-8. 
  8. ^ "Acacia willardiana Rose". United States Department of Agriculture. Germplasm Resources Information Network.