Plant Image
Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Acaciella angustissima - prairie acacia

Synonyms: Acacia angustissima
Other Common Names: Arizona desert-carpet, white ball acacia
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Fabaceae

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Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Woody at least at the base with fern-like or feathery, twice-compound (bipinnate) leaves and flower heads that are white balls. It does not have spines like the Mimosas or other Acaciellas.
Identification notes: Height commonly under 3 feet, no spines and stemmed flower heads separate from other Acaciella; leaves alternate, on both sides of stem; leaflets oblong, margin entire, apex acute; flowers a powder puff-like spherical cluster; stamens numerous.
Height: 3 feet


Habitat Description: Dry rocky slopes, often in chaparral.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White, sometimes pinkish     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Round, stemmed flower clusters on stems that originate in the leaf axils or found at the end of primary stems; flower heads about 3/4 inch in diameter; calyx less than 1/16 inch long; green petals 1/16 to 1/8 inch long; white stamens 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves 4 to 19 inches long, primary leaflets usually in 2 to 14 pairs, acute or obtuse at apex; secondary leaflets in 9 to 33 pairs; leaflets narrow-oblong, 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, usually 1/16 inch or less broad, few hairs along margins.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Reddish-brown   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Pod, linear-oblong, about 1/2 inch broad, 1-1/2 inches to 2-3/4 inches long, hairy or bearing a few scattered simple hairs.
Seed Notes: 8 to 12 seeds per pod.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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