Senegalia greggii Britton & Rose

Catclaw acacia
Fabaceae (Pea)

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 Term Meanings.