Honey Mesquite, Texas Mesquite
|There is more to the Mesquites than the unique smoky savor they impart to grilled foods. Incredibly tough, adaptable trees, their Legume family trademarks of feathery leaves and long seedpods add appeal to a desert landscape. Where little rain falls they hunker down as shrubs, but by a watercourse or where roots reach groundwater they grow 20 to 50 feet tall, often with multiple trunks. Mature branches lose their spines and spread a welcome canopy of airy shade. Bees make a pure, sweet honey from the blossoms, and livestock feed on the ripe beans. Native people also ate these, brewed them for an alcoholic drink, used the sap for glue and dyes, and the hard wood for fences and fuel. Bunches of oddly twisted seedpods give Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) its name; it seldom exceeds 20 feet. Never entirely leafless, Prosopis alba (Argentine Mesquite) grows new blue-green leaves as fast as the old ones are shed. Prosopis glandulosa (Honey or Texas Mesquite) resembles the California Pepper Tree (Schinus molle), with bright green leaves on drooping branches and fragrant greenish-yellow flower spikes. Dealers offer 2 types of Prosopis chilensis (Chilean Mesquite): the true species, evergreen in mild winters, and a possibly hybrid deciduous strain. Both form shallower root systems than other Mesquites. Look for a spineless form of the evergreen. Plant in full sun, water moderately and keep dry in winter. Specimen trees on lawns can adapt to more frequent watering. Good for erosion control on sandy slopes. Roots reaching 60 feet deep may prohibit transplanting, so grow in a container until ready for a permanent location. Grow from seed, by removing suckers, or from semi-ripe cuttings.
This thicket-like shrub with a spreading habit is characterized by several trunks, crooked branches, and spines.
Attributes - Prosopis grandulosa
Plant Type: Shrub, Tree
Bloom Season: Mid Spring through Mid Summer
Flower Color: White, Yellow
Height: 20 ft. to 27 ft.
Width: 27 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Climate: Zones 10, 11
Notes: Thrives in Dry Climates, Hot Climates. Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance, Showy Flowers.
Prosopis pubescens, Prosopis velutina