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Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite) | NPIN
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Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
Lytle, Melody

Prosopis glandulosa

Prosopis glandulosa Torr.

Honey mesquite

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: PRGL2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), VI (I)

Honey mesquite is a shrub or small tree to 30 ft. The crown spreads a distance equal or more to the height. Twigs are armed with sharp thorns up to 2 inches long especially on young plants. Twice-compound, deciduous leaves are very bright-green and feathery. Leaflets up to 2 inches long and 3 1/16 inch wide. Tiny, yellow-green, fragrant flowers occur in dense, spike-like racemes appearing in April and as late as August during wet summers. Fruit a long, yellowish brown pod, somewhat flattened and with slight constrictions between the seeds.

The seeds are disseminated by livestock that graze on the sweet pods, and the shrubs have invaded grasslands. Cattlemen regard mesquites as range weeds and eradicate them. In sandy soils, dunes often form around shrubby mesquites, burying them except for a rounded mass of branching tips. The deep taproots, often larger than the trunks, are grubbed up for firewood. Southwestern Indians prepared meal and cakes from the pods. As the common name indicates, this species is also a honey plant. The word mesquite is a Spanish adaptation of the Aztec name mizquitl.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: 25-30
Flower: Flowers 3 inches long
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , KS , LA , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT
Native Distribution: LA & OK to s. CA, s. to n. Mex.; includes extreme s.w. UT
Native Habitat: Deserts; plains; stream banks; arroyos

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type.
Conditions Comments: Mesquite needs deep watering to become a tree, but tolerates drought thereafter. Plants are drought-tolerant when young but will remain shrubs if not irrigated. Bloom period is predominantly spring, but the plant does flower at other times. P. glandulosa, erroneously known also as P. juliflora and P. chilensis, is represented by two varieties: var. glandulosa and var. torreyana. This aggressive plant has increased greatly in abundance (though is has not much extended its geographic range) in the last 120 years, becoming especially abundant on disturbed grasslands.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Fast growing, Showy, Blooms ornamental, Attractive, Fixes nitrogen, Planned landscape, Shade tree
Use Wildlife: An excellent bee tree. Nectar-bees, Nectar-insects, Cover, Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Reickers blue butterfly, Long-tailed skipper
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Prosopis glandulosa is a larval host and/or nectar source for:

(Sphingicampa heiligbrodti)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Long-tailed Skipper
(Urbanus proteus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division
Description: Easily grown from fresh, untreated seed or stored, treated seed. Cuttings from young wood will root.
Seed Collection: Gather pods as soon as they turn brown. Dry pods and extract their seed. Seeds can be stored in sealed, refrigerated containers for several years.
Seed Treatment: Stored seed requires hot water or mechanical scarification.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009
Hello, I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region. Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
view the full question and answer

Are Mesquite (Prosopis) pods safe for dogs to eat?
June 15, 2009
are pods from mesquite trees posionus to dogs if they chew or eat them?
view the full question and answer

Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
March 20, 2009
I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestio...
view the full question and answer

Wispy plant to put behind a waterfall
May 30, 2008
Needing a 10-20ft wispy ______ to plant behind our waterfall to help block out road noise. We live in Austin. I've looked at the Mexican weeping bamboo but are there other options?
view the full question and answer

Name of the rough-barked mimosa (Albizia kalkora)
February 12, 2008
I read two years ago that there was two different mimosa trees one that is common and has the smooth bark and the other one had a rough bark. I am Interested in the one who has the rough bark and the ...
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From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0375 Collected Apr 28, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0246 Collected June 23, 1992 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Prosopis glandulosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Prosopis glandulosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Prosopis glandulosa

Metadata

Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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