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Family: Legumoinosae (Fabaceae), Pea Family
Blooms in Spring
Habitat Preferred: Ubiquitous in Verde Valley Area
Photo taken at: Clarkdale 7/99, 10/99
Bloom Color: Yellow
Other Common Names: Catclaw, Gregg Catclaw
Comments: Try wading through a patch of catclaw and you'll know how it got its name! The stems are lined with sharp recurved "claws" that dig into whatever brushes against it. Tell it from Velvet Mesquite, with which it usually shares habitat, by the thin, wispy look of its branches and it's smaller, scrubbier stature. Differentiate it from Wait-a-Minute by its much larger leaves, beans, and less numerous "claws". Catclaw patches are important wildlife habitat.
Further Reference & Sources: "A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona", Anne Orth Epple, 1995, Falcon Press