Prosopis glandulosa, commonly known as honey mesquite, is a species of small to medium-sized, thorny shrub[3] or tree in the legume family (Fabaceae).

The plant is primarily native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Its range extends into southern Kansas and into Louisiana.

It can be part of the Mesquite Bosque plant association community in the Sonoran Desert ecoregion of California and Arizona (U.S.), and Sonora state (México).

Prosopis glandulosa has rounded big and floppy, drooping branches with feathery foliage and straight, paired spines on twigs. This tree normally reaches 20–30 ft (6.1–9.1 m) but can grow as tall as 50 ft (15 m). It is considered to have a medium growth rate.

It flowers from March to November, with pale, yellow, elongated spikes and bears straight, yellow seedpods. The seeds are eaten by a variety of animals, such as scaled quail. Other animals, including deer, collared peccaries, coyotes, and jackrabbits, feed on both pods and vegetation.

Prosopis glandulosa shrubs and trees provide shelter and nest building material for wildlife and produce seed pods in abundance containing beans that are a seasonal food for diverse birds and small mammal species. As the common name indicates, honey mesquite is a honey plant that supports native pollinator species of bees and other insects and cultivated honey bees. It is a larval host for the long-tailed skipper and Reakirt's blue butterflies.

Mesquite flour contains abundant protein and carbohydrates and can be used in recipes as a substitute for wheat flour.

The indigenous peoples of California and southwestern North America used parts of Prosopis glandulosa as a medicinal plant, food source, building and tools material, and fuel. The Cahuilla ate the blossoms and pods, which were ground into meal for cake. The thorns of the plant were used as tattoo needles, and the ashes for tattoos, by the Cahuilla and Serrano Indians of Southern California. Its dense and durable wood is prized for making tools and arrow points, and for the unique flavor, it lends to foods cooked over it. The deep taproots, often larger than the trunks, are dug up for firewood.

This species of mesquite, known as haas (pronounced [ʔaːs]) by the Seri people of northwestern Mexico, was very important for food and nonfood uses. The Seris had specific names for various stages of the growth of the mesquite pod. Historically, it was a very important wild food plant because it fruits even during drought years.

Observations Map

2
3
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In