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

 Native Plant Database

Acacia greggii var. wrightii


Catclaw acacia, Catclaw, Wright acacia


Fabaceae (Pea Family)



Acacia greggii var. wrightii (Catclaw acacia)
Marcus, Joseph A.
This shrub or small tree grows 6-10 ft. tall. Its branches are armed with catclaw-like prickles and bear creamy-white flowers in 2 in. spikes. The delicate foliage is pinnately-compound, and semi-evergreen.

The species name “greggii” was named for Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850). He was born in Overton County, Tennessee. In the summer of 1841 and again in the winter of 1841-42 he traveled through Texas, up the Red River valley, and later from Galveston to Austin and by way of Nacogdoches to Arkansas. He took note of Texas geology, trees, prevalent attitudes, and politics. At the same time, Gregg began compiling his travel notes into a readable manuscript. His “Commerce of the Prairies”, which came out in two volumes in 1844, was an immediate success. In 1848 he joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California, during which he corresponded with and sent specimens to the eminent botanist George Engelman in St. Louis. Subsequently, the American Botanical Society added the Latin name “greggii” in his honor to twenty-three species of plants. Gregg died on February 25, 1850, as a result of a fall from his horse.

The variety name of this plant is for Charles Wright, 1811-1885, world-wide botanical collector but mainly in Texas (1837-1952), Cuba and his native Connecticut.

Image Gallery:

33 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous , Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Leaf Shape: Obovate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Size Notes: Height 25 to 30 feet, Spread 20 to 30 feet.
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch spikes
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: NM , TX
Native Distribution: Central Texas west to New Mexico and south to Nuevo Leon in Mexico
Native Habitat: Stream, river banks, Canyons, Chaparral & brush country, Open woodlands. Dry, rocky, open sites; brushlands along creeks; canyons.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Caliche type, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam Clay
Conditions Comments: This shrub or small trees branches are armed with catclaw-like prickles and bear creamy-white flowers in 2 in. spikes. The delicate foliage is pinnately-compound, and semi-evergreen.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy, Understory tree, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Screens
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Cover, Nesting site.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Marine blue butterfly

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Acacia greggii var. wrightii is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Marine Blue
(Leptotes marina)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2010-06-07