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Vachellia rigidula (Blackbrush acacia)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Vachellia rigidula

Vachellia rigidula (Benth.) Seigler & Ebinger

Blackbrush Acacia, Blackbrush, Chaparro Prieto, Gavia

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Acacia amentacea, Acacia rigidula


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Spiny, stiff-branched, thicket-forming shrub bearing numerous spikes of yellow flowers. Chaparro-prieto or blackbrush grows 5-15 ft., or more. 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.


From the Image Gallery

20 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall, often shorter.
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch spikes
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: Rio Grande Plain to Austin and Big Bend; adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, 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.


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


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagation is possible with untreated or treated seed.
Seed Collection: Late summer to early fall when seeds are firm, filled out, and dark brown
Seed Treatment: Soaking seeds in concentrated sulfuric acid for 30 minutes has shown to enhance germination.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MLE-14 Collected 2010-06-07 in Val Verde County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


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 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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 Reference

Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vachellia rigidula in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vachellia rigidula in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vachellia rigidula


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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