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Sign up for our newsletter. [5] Mesquite is a traditional Native American food source, being used to make meal, cakes and syrup. Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/propub/all.html []. It is small for a tree, usually topping out at 30 feet (9 m.) in height. [3], It is found along streams and valleys in deserts, particularly in damp or saline soil. [3], Many types of animals readily eat the seedpods, including several bird and rodent species and coyotes. It reaches a height of 20 feet; the trunk may be up to 8 inches in diameter. 501. It differs from its cousin, the traditional mesquite tree, in a few ways. It sets itself apart from its traditional mesquite cousin with its attractive, corkscrew shaped bean pods that appear in the summer. It has light brown bark, usually short, straight spines 1 to 3 centimeters long, twice-compound leaves, and numerous small yellowish flowers appearing in elongate spikes. The fruits may be used as a coffee substitute. [3] Many species of birds nest and roost in the trees, and small mammals find shelter in thicketlike stands. These trees prefer sandy, well-drained soil and full sun. The pods are edible and can be eaten raw when they are young in the spring, or pounded into meal when dry in the autumn. The seeds germinate after being scarified in the digestive tracts of animals that eat them. in length, grow in a very tightly coiled spiral shape. The Pimas cooked the pods in dirt-covered pits over intervals of a few days. AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION: Meyer, Rachelle. If left unpruned, the branches will sag down to sometimes touch the ground. It grows alongside common plants of this habitat type, such as arrowweed (Pluchea sericea) and tamarisks. If you wish to add visual interest to the landscape of any property, you … National Audubon Society, Field Guide to Trees, Western Region, North America, 1980, pg. [3] The wood is durable and considered attractive, and it may be used in woodworking. The various types of mesquite can be identified by the seed pods. The pods of all 3 common species of mesquite -- Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), Screwbean Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina) -- are edible, although the Screwbean is less flavorful than the more widespread Honey Mesquite. [3] This and other mesquite species are dominant plants in the Mesquite Bosque-mesquite woodlands, a common habitat type in the desert southwest region. Mesquite is high in fiber, moderate in sugar, and 8% protei… Prosopis pubescens, commonly known as screwbean mesquite,[2] is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the southwestern United States (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, southern Nevada and Utah) and northern Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora). The pod is gnarly and thick, protecting its nutrient rich seeds from wildlife. Its spines and leaves are smaller, and there are fewer of these leaves in every cluster. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. But the seeds are not the only way the screwbean mesquite provides for wildlife. FEIS ABBREVIATION: PROPUB SYNONYMS: None NRCS PLANT CODE [102]: PRPU COMMON NAMES: screwb… Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Screwbean mesquite pods curl around back onto themselves and are the easiest to identify. The Screwbean Mesquite has light-brown to reddish, smooth bark that separates into long, shaggy strips. The screwbean mesquite is a small tree or shrub native to southern California. [4] Used as a staple food for centuries by desert dwellers, this high protein meal contains good quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and is rich in the amino acid lysine as well. The screwbean mesquite is a small tree or shrub native to southern California. Hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10, the screwbean mesquite tree (Prosopis pubescens) ranges from the American Southwest and Texas into Central and South America. [1], This plant grows to about 7 m (23 ft). The plant also grows in a clockwise spiral. Chilean Mesquite Trees. This morphology may have been an evolutionary defense against seed predators such as bean weevils (Bruchinae). 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