En EspaÑol
Prosopis velutina (Velvet mesquite) | NPIN
Share

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    
See a list of all Plants





Prosopis velutina (Velvet mesquite)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Prosopis velutina

Prosopis velutina Woot.

Velvet mesquite

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Neltuma velutina, Prosopis articulata, Prosopis chilensis var. velutina, Prosopis juliflora, Prosopis juliflora var. articulata, Prosopis juliflora var. velutina

USDA Symbol: PRVE

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

Spiny tree with short, forking trunk, open, spreading crown of crooked branches, and finely hairy or velvety foliage, twigs, and pods. Under favorable conditions it sometimes grows as high as 30 feet, but in drier areas it is a spreading shrub with long, thick roots which people sometimes dig up for fuel. Leaves are alternate, deciduous, with long stems, made up of 12–20 leaflets about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide, which are again divided into smaller leaflets. All are smooth, dark green, and linear. The flower stem is 3 inches long or more, containing numerous cream-colored flowers that honeybees seem to prefer. The long, white stamens are numerous, turning yellow with age. The beans, up to 8 inches long, gradually turn yellow and mature in August and September. They contain about 25 percent sugar and are a valuable livestock food.

The medium-sized tree mesquite of central and southern Arizona, Velvet Mesquite reaches larger size than related species. The wood is used for fenceposts and novelties and is one of the best in the desert for fuel; even the large, deep taproots are grubbed up for that use. Southwestern Indians prepared meal and cakes from the sweet pods and livestock browse them, disseminating the seeds. Bees produce a fragrant honey from mesquites.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: Grows as high as 30 feet.
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , NM
Native Distribution: Extreme SW. New Mexico west to central Arizona and NW. Mexico; at 500-5500 (152-1676 m).
Native Habitat: Along washes and valleys and on slopes and mesas in desert, desert grassland, and occasionally with oaks.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Seed pods contain about 25 percent sugar and are a valuable livestock food.
Use Other: Hard wood is also used for fence posts and sometimes for railroad ties.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

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.

Find Seed or Plants

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

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Bibliography

Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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

Metadata

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

Go back

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center