Plant: Shrub or tree to 4 m, armed with curved spines Leaves: leaves alternate, twice compound with 2-4 pinnae Flowers: flowers cream in dense elongate clusters Fruit: a pod with round segments irregularly constricted. Misc: Flats, washes; 100-1400 m.; Apr-Jun References: Shreve, F. and I. Wiggins. 1964. Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert. Standford University Press. Stanford Cal.J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual.
Wiggins 1964, Benson and Darrow 1981, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Turner et al. 1995
Common Name: catclaw acacia Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FACU General: Native shrub or tree reaching to 6 m or more; bearing hard, heavy, sapwood cream to yellow; heartwood, reddish-brown. Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, bipinnately compound; 2.5-7.6 cm long, with 2 or 3 pairs of pinnae, each with 4-6 pairs leaflets; pinnae 1-1.5 mm long. Flowers: Cream colored, fragrant, spikes 5.1 cm long, 13 mm diameter; summer. Fruits: Legume 5.1-12.7 cm long, 13 mm wide, flat, often twisted and narrowed between seeds; persists into winter. Ecology: Found on flats, washes, and slopes below 5,000 ft (1524 m). Notes: Distinguished by the small double-compound leaves less than 7.6 cm long; very stout recurved solitary spines; flat twisted pod constricted between seeds. Note the nomenclature change for the entire genus. Ethnobotany: Disagreeable because of stout spines, tool handles, fuel, good honey plant, quail, ground up into a meal. Used as an astringent, emollient, disinfectant, antiinflammatory. Havasupai used in basket making. Etymology: Acacia is from Greek akakie taken from ake or akis, -a sharp point, greggii is reference to Josiah Gregg (1806-1850), a frontier trader and author who worked with Dr. George Engelmann. Synonyms: Acacia greggii Editor: SBuckley, 2010