Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Acacia constricta

Whitethorn acacia, White-thorn acacia, Mescat acacia, Mescat wattle, Whitethorn, Vara Prieta, Chaparro Prieto

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Acacia constricta (Whitethorn acacia)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
A 9-15 ft., multi-trunked tree with small, yellow-orange balls of fragrant flowers and finely segmented, pinnate leaves which fall off during dry seasons. Long spines on older growth. 2-4 in. beans ripen to bright red. Winter branches are purplish-colored. Mescat Wattle, or Whitethorn, is found in the wild without thorns, so a thornless selection is possible.

Image Gallery:

6 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: 9-15 feet.
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers in 1/2 inch globes
Fruit: Red 2 inch beans
Size Class: 6-12 ft. , 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , MD , NM , TX , VA
Native Distribution: TX to AZ & Mex.
Native Habitat: Flat desert areas, High elevation. Dry slopes; washes; mesas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy, Caliche type, Sandy Loam, limestone soil.
Conditions Comments: Whitethorn is found in the wild without thorns, so a thornless selection is possible. Form is variable.


Use Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-bees, Browse, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2012-09-17