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Senegalia greggii

About Catclaw (Senegalia greggii) Catclaw is a shrub in the Fabaceae (Legume) family that is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, from the extreme south of Utah south through southern Nevada, southeast California, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas to Baja California, Sinaloa and Nuevo Leon in Mexico. In California it is found in the Mojave Desert and on the eastern side of the the Peninsular Range in desert transition chaparral. The genus Senegalia was formerly classified with the Acacias, and some sources still refer to it by that name. Common names for this species include Catclaw Acacia, Catclaw Mesquite, Gregg's Catclaw, Devil's Claw, Paradise Flower, and Wait-a-minute Bush; these names mostly come from the fact that the stems have numerous hooked thorns with the shape and size of a cat's claw, that tend to hook onto passers-by; the hooked person must stop ("wait a minute") to remove the thorns carefully to avoid injury or shredded clothing. The fruit is a legume pod that is valued by wildlife. This plant should be used away from traffic where its thorns will not cause a problem.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
12 ft (3.7 m)

Max. Width
8 ft (2.4 m)

Growth Rate
Moderate, Slow

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Cream, Yellow

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Slope, canyons, flats and washes of desert and semi-desert areas


Elevation ?
-187' - 7763'

Annual Precip. ?
2.2" - 34.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 3.11"

Coldest Month ?
38.4° F - 63.5° F

Hottest Month ?
61.8° F - 90.7° F

Humidity ?
2.01 vpd - 49.01 vpd

Soil Description
Rocky, sandy or decomposed granite

Soil PH
6.6 - 8.2


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11, 12*, 13, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers. Various small mammals are attracted to the seeds.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Can be pruned into a small tree. Wear gloves and use caution when pruning.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; Scarification or hot water may improve germination.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Acacia greggii

Common Names
Catclaw Acacia, Devilsclaw, Gregg Catclaw, Texas Catclaw

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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