Havardia pallens (Benth.) Britton & Rose
Pithecellobium pallens (Benth.) Standl.
Tenaza, huajillo, ape’s earring, guajilla, mimosa-bush
Tenaza is a North American native from Texas and Mexico.
Plants: This is a shrub or small tree 10-20' (3-6.1 m) tall, and about the same around. The trunk has paired straight spines and smooth, thin bark that is gray or sometimes reddish in color.
Leaves: Grayish green, bipinnate, 4-6" (10-15 cm) long, with 7-20 pinnae (pairs of leaflets), each with 30-40 leaflets.
Flowers: Fragrant flowers are cream-colored, ball-shaped, ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) in diameter, appearing from May to mid-September. They are often described as “cream-colored puffballs.”
Fruits: Brown bean-like seedpods are flat, velvetlike, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long.
Edibility: Not edible. Said to be psychoactive.
Havardia pallens at George and Audrey DeLange's Arizona wildflower site
Havardia pallens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Havardia pallens on the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University, Texas A&M System
Havardia pallens on Desert-tropicals.com
Havardia pallens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Sep 2020.
Range: Zones 8b-11: