Acaciella angustissima


Whiteball Acacia - Acaciella angustissima
East fork of Ready Pay Gulch, North of NM-152
East of Hillsboro, New Mexico 

The Whiteball Acacia (a.k.a. Prairie Acacia), Acaciella angustissima, is fairly abundant on the hillsides of the ridge which separates North Wicks Canyon and Ready Pay Canyon.  It is low growing, lacks thorns, and is covered in white tufts at this time of year.  Although it was once placed in the Acacia genus it is now classified as Acaciella, so its common name is a bit misleading.  This species is native to the southern United States, south through most of South America.  In our area it generally remains fairly short because it requires at least 27 inches of precipitation to survive - clearly something it does not get here - thus its typical hillside habitat - the hillside tending to concentrate the water which is available.

This species was first described by Philip Miller and over time it has had a significant number of synonyms.  In 1928, it was described as follows:

The United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, has published an informative flyer on this species, although they refer to it under one of its synonyms (it has many).

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023