Max Licher @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants
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Bloody Basin Rd
Sue Smith
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Max Licher @
Plant Image
Seed pods
Max Licher @
Plant Description

Origin: Native  Similar Species: Wright acacia
General Description: Deciduous. Long-lived spreading and thicket forming shrub or small tree. Heavily armed with curved spines. Highly adapted to harsh desert conditions.
Identification notes: Flowers densely clustered on cylindrical spikes, having more than 10 stamens; flat, curled, green seedpods dry to a dark brown color; leaves are grayish-green with oval leaflets; branches have wickedly sharp, curved, cat claw-like thorns.
Height: 23 feet     Width: 15 feet


Habitat Description: Flats, washes and slopes. Often forming thickets along streams and washes.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Riparian
Elevation: 0 - 4500 feet


Color: Pale yellow   Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters    Tubular: N   Flowering Period: Apr - Oct
Description: Dense, fragrant, catkin (cylindrical spike) to 2-1/2 inches long.


Leaf Color: Grayish-green   Type: Compound   Shape: Round or oval   Margin: Smooth   Attachment: Alternate   Hairs: N
Description: Bipinnately compound to 3 inches long. The central stalk of each leaf has 2 to 3 pairs of leaflet stalks which have 8 to 12 leaflets.


Color: Brown   Type: Pod   Description: Flattened twisted pod to 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide with wax coated seeds, often narrowed between seeds; persists into winter.


Bark Color: Gray to black   Bark Texture (Mature): Scaly   Bark and Branch Description: Trunk up to 8 inches in diameter. Branches short, sharp 1/4 inch long curved spines resemble a cat's claws. Bark cracks and become scale-like with age, changing from gray to black.
Spines, thorns or prickles: Y

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
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