Blackbrush , Blackbrush Acacia, Chaparro Prieto, Gavia

Acacia rigidula Benth.

Fabaceae (Legume family)


Blackbrush is a perennial, warm-season native. This shrubby tree grows upwards of 12 feet or 3.7 m tall and produces limbs from a central trunk. The zigzag branches have short, straight thorns in pairs. The bark is whitish in color. The leaves are pinnately compound, with both divisions having one to eight small leaflets, typical of the legume family. The flowers are white to yellow. Bloom time occurs from March to June. The 2 to 4 inch or 5 to 10 cm long seed pods are narrow, curved and flat, have divisions between the seeds, and are reddish brown when ripe. This tree provides fair grazing for wildlife and poor grazing for livestock. Flowers provide nectar, and seeds are consumed by granivorous birds.


Blackbrush is common on South Texas brushland. It is most often found on sandy or calcareous soils and on limestone caliche ridges and hills. Its native distribution ranges from the Rio Grande Plain to Austin and the Big Bend region. Native habitat includes prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, savannahs, brushlands, and roadsides.