birdandhike.com logo
Home | Vegetation | Species Index | Trees
Catclaw Acacia (Senegalia [Acacia] greggii)
Trees Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)

General: Catclaw Acacia (Senegalia greggii) usually are short, spindly, many branched trees (or large shrubs) with claw-shaped spines on the younger stems. The name comes from the catclaw spines that catch, hold, and tear the flesh and clothing of people who brush up against them. Occasionally, catclaws grow to the height of "real" trees.

Catclaw Acacia is a common components of wash communities in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones. They are also found out on bajadas.

Catclaw often are parasitized by Mesquite Mistletoe, which appears as clumps of stems with white or red berries. Phainopepla depend on these berries for food, but they are toxic to humans.

Family: Pea (Fabaceae).

Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)

Other Names: Wait-a-Minute Bush, Acacia greggii.

Plant Form: short, spindly, many branching tree or large shrub. Sometimes forming thickets along the edges of washes.

Height: Usually 6-10 ft, to about 20 ft.

Trunk: Usually a single trunk, but many branches beginning near the ground.

Leaves: Gray-green, compound (2-pinnate), leaflets small, oblong (typical of members of the pea family).

Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)

Flowers: Blooms late spring to early summer, also sporadically throughout the summer and fall in response to rain. Bottlebrush-shaped catkins on stalks (spikes). Individual flowers are small, pale yellow, and tubular; stamens many and conspicuous.

Seeds: Fairly large seeds born in 2 to 6-inch-long, twisted, stringbean-type pods. Green, aging to brown.

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils along washes; less commonly found on open bajadas.

Distribution: Southern California to Texas and south into Mexico where winters are mild.

Elevation: Near sea level to 4,500 feet.

Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Catclaw trees along a dry wash
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Tree-sized catclaw
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Shaggy bark on tree-sized catclaw
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Pale yellow flowers on tree
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Flower buds and first opening flowers
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Flower buds and first opening flowers
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Flowers
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Flowers
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Green seedpods on tree
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Developing seedpods on tree
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Dried seedpods on the tree
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Dried seedpods on the tree
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Big crop of dried seedpods on the ground
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Big crop of dried seedpods on the ground
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Long roots seek water far beneath the surface
Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)
Deep roots seek water in all directions

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 170812

All Deciduous Trees Plant Species Index Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads