This deciduous plant can vary in size from a medium shrub to a small tree, depending upon the site and available moisture. Typically it grows slowly to waist height, forming dense thickets. Some specimens may reach 10' tall by 15' wide with ample moisture. The ferny foliage is medium green in color. Prominent white thorns are common on juvenile foliage, although some plants are not spiny at all. Yellow fragrant puffball flowers appear in spring and continue through summer. They are followed by brown, curved bean-like pods which are favored by quail. Whitethorn acacia is native to the washes and rocky hills of Arizona, Texas and Nevada at elevations of 1500 to 6500 feet.