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Senegalia wrightii (Wright acacia)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Senegalia wrightii

Senegalia wrightii (Benth.) Britton & Rose

Wright Acacia, Wright's Acacia, Catclaw Acacia, Catclaw

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Acacia greggii var. wrightii

USDA Symbol: SEWR4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This small tree may be shrub-like, up to about 10 feet tall, or a small tree up to about 30 feet 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.

This species is named in honor of Charles Wright, 1811-1885, world-wide botanical collector but mainly in Texas (1837-1852), Cuba and his native Connecticut.


From the Image Gallery

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

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

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 tree's 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 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 Senegalia wrightii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Senegalia wrightii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Senegalia wrightii


Record Modified: 2021-09-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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