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Acacia greggii var. wrightii (Wright acacia)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Acacia greggii var. wrightii

Acacia greggii A. Gray var. wrightii (Benth.) Isely

Wright acacia, Wright's acacia, Catclaw acacia, Catclaw

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Acacia wrightii

USDA Symbol: acgrw

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


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


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.


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)

Marine Blue
(Leptotes marina)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Untreated seed.
Seed Collection: Late summer to early fall when seeds are firm, filled out, and dark brown.
Seed Treatment: No treatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Requires pruning to develop strong structure.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acacia greggii var. wrightii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acacia greggii var. wrightii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acacia greggii var. wrightii


Record Modified: 2015-11-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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