Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Acacia angustissima, (Acaciella angustissima), White-ball Acacia

Acacia angustissima, White-ball Acacia, Southwest Desert Flora Acacia angustissima, White-ball Acacia, Southwest Desert Flora Acacia angustissima, White-ball Acacia, Southwest Desert FloraAcacia angustissima, White-ball Acacia, Southwest Desert FloraAcacia angustissima, White-ball Acacia, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Acacia angustissima, Acaciella angustissima
Common Name: White-ball Acacia
Also Called: Fern Acacia, Ocpatl, Prairie Acacia, Prairie Wattle, White Ball Acacia and Whiteball Acacia; (Spanish: Guajillo, Day, Cantemó Palo de Pulque, Barbas de Chivo)
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: May grow up to 6 feet, usually 4 feet or less, 2 or 3 feet wide.
Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; over-all shape variable; without spines or thorns.
Leaves: Green, compound, pinnate, alternate; feathery foliage, deciduous.
Flower Color: White or cream-colored ½ inch flowers; flowers from axils forming panicles with round heads, (globose); fruit is a 2 to 3 inch legume pod.
Flowering Season: May to September
Elevation: 3,000 to 6,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry rocky slopes, usually in Chaparral mixed communities.

Recorded Range: White-ball Acacia is found in the central southern and southwest states of; AR, AZ, FL, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK and TX. This species is also found throughout northern and central Mexico and Baja California.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Acacia angustissima as Acaciella angustissima.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available
Wetland Indicator: No data available
Threatened/Endangered Information: (Prairie Acacia) is listed as Endangered by the State of Florida.

Genus Information: 88 species in Acacia in the United States, 7 species in Arizona;
The USDA Plants Database includes the following 5 varieties of Acacia angustissima;
Acacia angustissima var. chisosiana, Chisos Prairie Acacia; (TX);
Acacia angustissima var. hirta, Prairie Acacia; (AR, AZ, FL, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK and TX);
Acacia angustissima var. leucothrix, (TX);
Acacia angustissima var. shrevei, Shreve's Prairie Acacia (AZ); In Arizona it is found almost throughout the state, and
Acacia angustissima var. suffrutescens, Prairie Acacia (AZ, NM).

Comments: White-ball Acacia does not have spines or thorns and is easily to cultivate. Although the flowers are somewhat showy, the fine feathery foliage is one of the plant's most attractive features.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Whitethorn Acacia, Acacia constricta; Sweet Acacia, Acacia farnesiana and Catclaw Acacia, Acacia greggii.

Date Profile Completed: 07/28/2015, updated format 10/12/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 07/28/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINett for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information.
USDA Threatened/Endangered Information; Coile, N.C., and M.A. Garland. 2003. Notes on Florida's endangered and threatened plants (29 January 2005). Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Florida. (accessed 07/28/2015)