Vachellia constricta (Benth.) Seigler & Ebinger
Whitethorn Acacia, White-thorn Acacia, Mescat Acacia, Mescat Wattle, Whitethorn, Vara Prieta, Chaparro Prieto
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Synonym(s): Acacia constricta, Acacia constricta var. constricta, Acacia constricta var. paucispina
USDA Symbol: VACO9
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: 9-15 feet.
Flower: Flowers in 1/2 inch globes
Fruit: Red 2 inch beans
Size Class: 6-12 ft. , 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AZ , NM , TX
Native Distribution: TX to AZ & Mex.
Native Habitat: Flat desert areas, High elevation. Dry slopes; washes; mesas.
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-bees, Browse, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Increase using untreated seed or by root division.
Seed Collection: Late summer to early fall when seeds are firm, filled out, and dark brown
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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
Web ReferenceWebref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Vachellia constricta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vachellia constricta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vachellia constricta
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-09-17
Research By: TWC Staff