The Catclaw Acacia(Acacia greggii) is commonly found in the Grand Canyon. From a distance it is hard to differentiate from the Western Honey Mesquite Tree. Up close the Catclaw Acacia can be identified by its small catclaw shaped prickles. The Catclaw also has smaller bipinnate leaves than the mesquite and the seed pods are constricted between the seeds unlike the mesquite.
For anyone who has done a side hike from the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon you have surely encountered the Catclaw Acacia “grabbing” your clothing as you try to make a turn on the trail. When Grand Canyon rafting the Catclaw Acacia first appears around the proposed Marble Canyon damsite and continues throughout the canyon.