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Prosopis pubescens


Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed near the Salt River at Phoenix, Arizona, USA. This image is hosted at Wikipedia

Pen & Ink by Michael Plagens

Screwbean Mesquite, Prosopis pubescens. The double-thorned insect at far right is Platycentrus acuticornis.

FRUIT: Legumes appear by mid-summer and are twisted around and around giving the appearance of a screw, thus the namesake for the plant.

TREE: A small or medium sized tree with short spines and brown bark.

LEAVES: Light green leaves are twice-compound, i.e. the rachis splits once into two or four (occas. 6) secondary rachises upon which the ultimate leaflets appear.

RANGE: Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts most commonly along flood-prone rivers where the soil may be seasonally saline or damp. It is often planted near wastewater treatment facilities.

FLOWERS: Spikes of numerous, small yellow flowers. The petals are minute whereas the stamens are elongate and conspicuous

ARMED: Spines are 1 to 3 cm short and are white at maturity.

Mimosoideae -- Mimosa Sub-family

Chenopodaceae -- Goosefoot Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008