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Tenaza, Apes-Earring, Huajillo, Guajilla, Mimosa-bush
Havardia pallens (Pithecellobium pallens)

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Tenaza prefers to grow in the loamy alluvial soils of stream edges or near water holes in Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo and Starr Counties, and is abundant in the coastal parts of the Rio Grande Plains. It reaches farther south into Mexico. It is also cultivated in other counties in Southwest Texas. Its hard, heavy, close-grained wood is dark reddish-brown, covered by smooth grey to reddish, thin bark which breaks into small flakes, occasionally with a few spines. The irregularly spreading, airy branches bear delicate, pale green bipinnate leaves and ferociously large spines, all ornamented with mimosa-like, fluffy, white, fragrant blossoms after rains, from May through August. The reddish-brown seed pod contains lustrous, flattened roundish brown-black seeds. Tenazas' flowers attract bees, and sheep and goats browse the foliage. Small woodenware objects are made from its wood. Because of its adaptability to wet or dry sites, tenaza has value for use in revegetation areas.

Plant Habit or Use: large shrub
small tree

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: white

Blooming Period: spring
summer

Fruit Characteristics: 2- to 5-inch-long pod

Height: 10 to 15 feet, rarely to 30 feet

Width: 10 to 15 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Additional Comments:



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