Tenaza, Apes-Earring, Huajillo, Guajillo, Mimosa bush

Havardia pallens

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Havardia (hav-AR-dee-uh) (Info)
Species: pallens (PAL-lenz) (Info)
Synonym:Havardia brevifolia
Synonym:Havardia nelsonii




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Maricopa, Arizona

Safford, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Brownsville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 2, 2014, southeastgarden from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Two plants of 'Sierra Sparkler' and some seedlings have grown well in Jacksonville, Florida for several years. They are growing in high, sandy ground in sunny locations. It is an attractive small tree (so far) with fragrant, mimosa-like flowers that appear off and on through the summer.


On Nov 8, 2011, Juttah from Tucson, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

A neat little shrub/tree that grows faster than I expected. The foliage is lush-looking yet delicate, and the white blooms "glow" especially at dusk. It does have spines but nothing worse than your average rose bush.

One oddity I haven't heard mentioned anywhere else ... on mine at least, the foliage and the spent blooms smell like cat pee! Not strong, but definitely noticeable. At first I assumed the plant was attracting tomcats, but the odor is detectable all over the plant, even on branches 4' off the ground.


On Nov 10, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
This evergreen large shrub or small tree is native to Arizona, Mexico and Texas. In Texas, it is native to Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties and the coastal parts of the Rio Grande Plains; however, is also cultivated in other counties in Southwest Texas. Although it is found naturally by stream edges or near water holes, it adapts to dry locations as well and has a high heat tolerance.

The branches spread irregularly. The close grained wood is dark reddish-brown, very hard and covered with gray to reddish bark that breaks into tiny flakes. The wood is used to make small wooden objects because of its color and hardness. The airy branches produce small, mimosa type, delicate and pinnate leaves which goats and sheep enjoy munching. From May... read more