honey mesquite, more...
[Prosopis chilensis var. glandulosa Standl., more]
Benson and Darrow 1981, Turner et al. 1995, Kearney and Peebles 1960, Carter 2012
Common Name: honey mesquite Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: UPL General: Spiny deciduous shrub or small tree to 9 m tall; bark gray-brown; bark of younger twigs can be red-brown or greenish. Leaves: Leaves are bipinnately compound. In the first division, there are usually 2 but occasionally 4 sets of pinnae. Each of those pinna is in turn composed of 8-20 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are linear-oblong, 1-4 cm long, 7-12 times as long as broad, and usually spaced 5-6 mm apart; glabrous or nearly so. Flowers: Inflorescences are cylindric, spikelike racemes, 4-8 cm long, composed of small, fragrant, greenish-yellow flowers. Flowers are radially symmetrical; calyx and corolla are 5-parted and inconspicuous; stamens conspicuously exserted. Fruits: Linear indehiscent pods, 10-20 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, straight or slightly curved, constricted between the seeds, straw colored when mature. Ecology: Common in bottomlands and washes, on heavy soils in uplands and coarse soils of sandy flats. Grows into a tree in bottomlands, if the extensive root system has access to groundwater, but remains a shrub <2 m tall in the uplands. Below 5,000 ft (1524 m); Distribution: Native to North America: s CA, s NV, west to OK; south to c MEX. Naturalized in Africa and Australia, where it is considered an invasive species. Notes: There are two varieties of this species: P. g. var. glandulosa has solitary spines and larger secondary leaflets 2.5 to 6.3 cm long; P. g. var. torreyana usually has paired spines and smaller secondary leaflets 1.5 to 2.3 cm long. This species may intergrade with P. velutina and P. articulata making it difficult to tell them apart. Typically, P. glandulosa can be told apart from P. velutina by the pinnae which are mostly 1 pair per leaf, compared to 1 or 2 pairs in P. velutina; leaflets are also more widely spaced in P. glandulosa, and there are no hairs on the leaves, while P. velutina has pubescent leaflets and twigs. Ethnobotany: Leaves made into an eye wash, bark used as a urinary aid for children, the leaves were chewed to neutralize acid stomach, the pods were eaten raw or cooked like string beans, or dried and pounded into flour. Etymology: Prosopis was a Greek name for burdock (seemingly misnamed), glandulosa means provided with glands. Synonyms: Prosopis juliflora var. glandulosa, Prosopis chilensis var. glandulosa Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015