Vachellia constricta

Whitethorn Acacia - Vachellia constricta
Warm Springs Wash
East of Hillsboro, NM, USA
June 25, 2016

The Acacias, Mimosas, and other thorny things are blooming at the moment (June 2016) - making the identification process a bit more straightforward.  The Whitethorn Acacia photographs shown here were taken yesterday morning east of Hillsboro in Warm Springs Wash.  This species is found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and a disjunct population in Virginia and Maryland.  The BONAP range map to the right shows its specific range within the United States (light green means the species is native and “not rare” in the county specified).  Within Mexico it is found as far south as Oaxaca, including small populations in the states of the Baja Peninsula.

In the past this species was named Acacia constricta.  It was first described by George Bentham, a truly remarkable botanist.  In the late 1870’s he noted that “We cannot form an idea of a species from a single individual, nor of a genus from a single one of its species.  We can no more set up a typical species than a typical individual.”  Perhaps a statement that does not ring with profound thought in our era but one of great substance in his.  In 2006 it was redescribed into its current genus by David Standley Seigler and John Edwin Ebinger.

The specimen shown below was collected by Curtis Wright in New Mexico in 1851.

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