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Acacia greggii also known as Catclaw Acacia, Catclaw Mesquite, Gregg’s Catclaw – a large shrub

Image of Acacia greggii plant at Google

Acacia greggii which is also known as Catclaw Acacia, Catclaw Mesquite, Gregg’s Catclaw, Devil’s Claw,Paradise Flower, Wait-a-minute Tree, and Wait-a-bit Tree is a native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, from the extreme south of Utah, southern Nevada, southeastCalifornia, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas to Baja California, Sinaloa and Nuevo León in Mexico.

It can grow up to a height of 10 m (33 ft) and the trunk is about 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in) in diameter. This is a large shrub. The leaves are about –3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) length and are bipinnate. The leaves have 10-18 leaflets that are 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in). The flowers are in cylindrical spikes. They are yellow in color and the petals are about 3mm and stamens about 6mm. The fruit is a twisted legume pod that is of 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) in length.

The chemical compounds that are found in Acacia greggii:
– Beta-methyl-phenethylamine
– Catechin
– Fisetin
– Hordenine
– Phenethylamine
– Quercetin
– Tyramine

The plant is useful medically too in treatment of cough and cold and painful throat. It cures diarrhea, lowers high blood pressure. This acacia promotes digestion, soothes infection and irritations of the skin. It is also used as dye and to preserve fabrics from weather, mildew and marine exposure. The bark is rusty brown and wood is reddish brown.

The plants leaves are compound and pinnate and petioles are vertically flat. They are feather like and in light to medium green in color. They are also known as phyllodes. These phyllodes protect the tree from sunlight and some acacias do not have phyllodes. In plants lacking phyllodes, cladodes exist. Cladodes are leaf like photosynthetic stems which are actually modified leaves. The flowers are small and dense. They appear in globular or cylindrical cluster forms. The flowers range from purple, red to yellow and white. The plants have spines and branches are short, pungent and hard. Their seeds are known to germinate with great difficulty. They need to be put to temperatures of 80 degree C.

Growing/Caring conditions for Acacia greggii:
– Plant or seed in a location where temperatures do not go below 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Place in a location with full sunlight.
– The plant needs to be misted.
– Let the soil be dry between the watering.
– If the soil gets too dry, the leaves will drop.
– The tree needs to feed every 15 to 20 days with a fertilizer which has low nitrogen levels.
– This helps in more bloom production.
– Prune the branches from spring to autumn.
– Prune every other year.
– Do not prune the leaves as the leaves are compound in this plant.
– Repot the plant two to four years.
– These plants attract flies, mites, aphids and thrips and hence protect the plants from these pests.
– Protect the plant from the typical disease called Anthracnose.
– This disease infects the leaves.
– Fertilize with a layer of compost on soil.

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