Arizona Naturalists >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Fabaceae-Mimosoideae >>> Acacia greggii
Watercolor from live specimen found at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, April 27, 1992. The blue lycaenid butterfly is the Marine Blue, Leptotes marina. The butterflies often take nectar at acacia flowers and the larvae eat the leaves.
Mature Acacia greggii pod observed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, August 2009.
ARMED : During your first encounter with the flora of Arizona, this
ubiquitous shrub will likely find you first! The impossibly sharp, hooked
spines will tug at your clothing, and surely scratch and tear any exposed skin.
Later you will cuss a bit as you work to extract the broken off spine-tips from
your flesh and clothing. The scars of your desert trek will be a sign to
friends and co-workers of your outdoorsy nature.
After you're through cussing this shrub, stop to observe its beauty and the diverse fauna that thrives on it. Even along the driest washes this shrub often presents a lush appearance with stems densely clothed in feathery leaves. The highly fragrant flowers are visited by hoards of beetles, bees, flies, wasps, and butterflies. A very small butterfly is nearly always to be encountered at the flowers, the Marine Blue, Leptotes marina.
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