Catclaw acacia is often called the wait-a-minute
bush, because when one catches you with its thorns, you have to say,
"Wait a minute." Formerly in genus Acacia but separated out from that genus now, this species ranges from the Colorado and southern Mojave
Deserts to Texas, Sonora and Baja. It is a shrub or small tree growing
to 20' tall, spreading with curved prickles on the stems. The alternate
gray-green leaves are 2-pinnate, sometimes clustered on short shoots,
with 2-3 pairs of primary leaflets and up to ten pairs of overlapping
oblong secondary leaflets. The inflorescence is a cylindrical spike
of light yellow flowers up to 1-1/2" long. The fruits are curved
or twisted, flattened, ± constricted between the seeds, and to
5" long. Catclaw is a common resident in washes and canyons to
6000', in habits of creosote bush scrub and pinyon-juniper woodland,
blooming from April to June.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Senegalia 2) greggii.
Pronunciation: sen-e-GAY-lee-a greg-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical