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Common Names: Catclaw Acacia, Catclaw Mesquite, Gregg’s Catclaw, Devil’s Claw, Paradise Flower, Wait-a-minute Tree, and Wait-a-bit Tree, cat’s claw acacia, tear blanket, devils claw, paradise flower, long-flowered catclaw, Texas mimosa, uña de gato.
Habitat: Acacia greggii is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, from the extreme south of Utah (where, at 37°10′ N it is the northernmost naturally occurring Acacia species anywhere in the world) south through southern Nevada, southeast California, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas to Baja California, Sinaloa and Nuevo León in Mexico.
Acacia greggii is a large shrub or small tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) tall with a trunk up to 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in) diameter. The grey-green leaves are deciduous, and bipinnate, divided into 1-3 pairs of pinnae, each pinna 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) long with 10-18 leaflets that are 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in). Pinnae are most frequently in two pairs, with the proximal pair perpendicular to the petiolule and the distal pair forming a V at the tip. The flowers are produced in dense cylindrical spikes, each flower with five yellow 3 mm (0.12 in) petals and numerous yellow 6 mm (0.24 in) stamens. The fruit is a flat, twisted legume (pod) 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) long, containing several hard, dark brown seeds. The seed pod is constricted between seeds (a loment), and seed dispersal occurs both through dehiscence and breaks at these constrictions.
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Catsclaw acacia reproduces sexually by producing an abundance of seeds. Vegetative regeneration (sprouting) occurs following damage to the above-ground portion of the plant. Catclaw acacia flowers are pollinated by insects and begin to produce seed between 4 to six years of age. It has shown varying success when transplanted. Seedlings can be nursery grown in tall containers to accommodate the deep root systems. In California, seed collected in the field exhibited good germination without any special treatment in fall or spring.
The pod is powdered and applied moistened as a poultice for muscle pain, bruises or sprains. It also is used for the same purposes as Mesquite. Gather the pods when still green and dry the leaves and branches over a paper as the leaves often fall off while hanging. The longer distal roots, chopped into small segments while moist. The gum is gathered the same way as mesquite gum and the flowers are dried. The green leaves, stems, and pods are powdered for tea (standard infusion) or for topical application; the roots are best used as a cold standard infusion, warmed for drinking and gargling.
Pods are used for conjunctivitis in the same manner as mesquite pods and the gum, although catsclaw is harder to harvest it is used in the same way as mesquite gum. The powdered pods and leaves make an excellent infused tea (2-4 ounces of the standard infusion every three hours) for diarrhea and dysentery, as well as a strongly astringent hemostatic and antimicrobial wash. The straight powder will stop superficial bleeding and can also be dusted into moist, chafed body folds and dusted on infants for diaper rash. The flowers and leaves as a simple tea are good anti-inflammatory for the stomach and esophagus in nausea, vomiting, and hangovers. It is distinctly sedative. The root is thick and mucilaginous as a tea and is good for sore throat and mouth inflammations as well as dry raspy coughing.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
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