Acacia greggii, or Catclaw Acacia, is a deciduous shrub or small tree native from Texas to Arizona and northern Mexico. In nature, the plant will reach up to 20 feet (6 m) in height with a 15 foot (5 m) spread. The 2-pinnate leaves are grey-green. At the leaf axis, there are very sharp spines shaped much like a cat’s claw. They are very easy to grow in containers and make interesting bonsai subjects. The shrubs are hardy in the landscape in USDA zone 8-10.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, our plants bloom in mid summer. The cream colored, drooping flowers will reach up to 2.25 inches (5.8 cm) long. They are mildly fragrant.
Culture: Acacia greggii need full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and sand mixed with small gravel to ensure good drainage. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry before watering again. During the growing season, we fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer. The plants are very slow growers. Very little trimming and pruning for shape and size is needed. Our plants at 15 years old are less than 4 feet (1 m) tall. During the winter months, the plants are moved to the cool rooms and the temperatures are dropped to 48°F (9°C). During this period, the plants are watered only occasionally, about once a month.
Propagation: Acacia greggii are best propagated from seed.
Acacia greggii was featured as Plant of the Week July 27-August 3, 2006.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.