Catclaw Acacia

Catclaw Acacias (Acacia greggii) start to bloom heavily here in Tucson in April, and they will continue blooming throughout the month of May. Their yellowish to cream-colored flowers have a sweet fragrance rather like that of honeysuckle. Catclaw Acacias in full bloom are delightfully fragrant and can be smelled from several feet away, which is the safest way to appreciate them as their branches have wickedly sharp, curved, cat-like thorns.

The flowers, besides being fragrant, also attract numerous insects, such as this wasp in the photograph below.

Wasp on Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii) flowers

Catclaw Acacias are very common here in Tucson, and I have snagged my clothes and been scratched bloody by these desert shrubs numerous times. Because they are so common, these plants are quite difficult to avoid when I push my way through overgrown trails or densely vegetated desert washes in search of new plant species to photograph.