White-thorn Acacia, Whitethorn Acacia, Mescat Acacia, Mescat Wattle

Acacia constricta Gray

Fabaceae (Legume family)


A member of the Legume family, White-thorn Acacia has typical legume-type leaves made up of three to nine pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are arranged alternately on the stems. The plant varies in height from 6 to 15 feet or 1.8 to 4.6 meters tall. The stems are generally dark brown or black with characteristic paired, straight, white spines up to 1½ inches or 3.8 cm long. Its showy yellow flowers are spherical and very aromatic. The flowering date varies considerably with moisture conditions. The fruit of White-thorn Acacia is a long, slender, linear legume or bean pod, usually maturing from July to September. The bean pods, when ripe, are 2 to 4 inches or 5 to 10 cm in length and are bright red in color. The forage value of this plant for livestock is negligible while there are some wildlife species that benefit from this plant for habitat and as a food source. Whitethorn Acacia has been found growing without thorns, so a thornless variation is possible.


White-thorn Acacia grows in dry sandy, caliche, or rocky soils and can be found in the western desert and mountainous regions of Texas. Native habitat includes dry slopes, washes, and mesas.