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

 Native Plant Database

Acacia rigidula


Blackbrush acacia, Blackbrush, Catclaw, Chaparro prieto, Gavia


Fabaceae (Pea Family)



Acacia rigidula (Blackbrush acacia)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Spiny, stiff-branched, thicket-forming shrub bearing numerous spikes of yellow flowers. Chaparro-prieto or blackbrush grows 5-15 ft. Prolific spikes of pale yellow, fragrant flowers are borne on the numerous stiff, thorny branches. The bark of this shrub is whitish in color. Its semi-evergreen leaves are dark-green, glossy and pinnately compound.

This Texas native is sometimes called Catclaw, thanks to its sharp, curved thorns.

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17 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch spikes
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

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

Distribution

USA: TX
Native Distribution: Rio Grande Plain to Austin and Big Bend; adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Chaparral & brush country, Roadsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Dry sand or limestone.
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing but vigorous, blackbrush acacia suckers readily. These suckers can be removed at ground level. Pruning encourages dense branching and more flowers. This plant has been used both as an ornamental and for erosion control.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Aromatic, Showy, Long-living, Erosion control, Blooms ornamental. This plant is used in rock gardens, landscapes, or xeriscapes.
Use Wildlife: Flowers are a source of honey. Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-moths, Nectar-insects, Seeds-granivorous birds, Browsed by deer.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2008-10-31