Catclaw acacia, named for its curved thorns, is a native of the southwestern United States.
Identification: For much of the year, this acacia lacks
leaves, so there is little to identify it beyond the thorns. It reaches 30' (9.1 m) in height. When the
leaves are present, they are bipinnate—in groups of opposing pairs. Flowers are
yellow, in spikes. The fruit is flat, twisted seed pods.
Catclaw acacia is also called the wait-a-minute tree, since passers-by hooked by these thorns need to extract themselves carefully. By Stan Shebs.
Catclaw acacia flower.
Edibility: The foliage is poisonous. However, the
beans from this acacia are edible.