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Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Trees Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

General: Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) is a medium-sized, spindly, many branched, thorny tree with long, straight, stout spines along the stems. Honey Mesquite produce bean pods that are large, flat, and sickle-shaped (more-or-less straight compared to the other local mesquite: Screwbean Mesquite (Prosopis pubescens).

Honey Mesquite are fairly common components of wash communities and other wet areas in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones, mostly south of Las Vegas.

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Developing seed pods

Family: Pea (Fabaceae).

Other Names: Glandular mesquite.

Plant Form: Medium-sized, spindly, many branching tree; forms thickets.

Height: Usually 15-20 ft

Trunk: Thick with rough bark.

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Leaves: Compound leaves with many long, narrow leaflets. Leaflets smooth. The species of mesquite in Arizona (Velvet Mesquite, Prosopis velutina), has hairy leaflets.

Flowers: Bottlebrush-shaped catkins on a stalk (spikes). Individual flowers are small, creamy or pale yellow, and tubular. Blooms late spring to early fall.

Seeds: Large; seeds born in long, straight, string-bean-like pods.

Distribution: Southern California to western Oklahoma, south into Mexico.

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)


Comments: These plants indicate the presence of water, but the roots can penetrate 70-80 feet to reach it, so it probably isn't worth digging to find water.

Honey Mesquite were a staple in the diet of southwestern Native Americans. They ground the seeds and seed pods to make flower for baking.

Mesquite often are parasitized by Mesquite Mistletoe, which appears as clumps of stems with white or red berries. Phainopepla depend on these berries for food, but they are toxic to humans.

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Dry seed pods
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Leaves and flowers
more to come ...

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Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 140224

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