Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Prosopis spp. are hardy evergreen and deciduous trees or shrubs. They tend to become shrubbier in poor, rocky soil, but can grow up to 30 feet tall in good conditions. Plants may have one or multiple trunks and have dark bark. There are several branches producing small leaflets. Greenish-yellow flowers are produced in spring and summer, followed by edible, flat, beanlike pods. Flowers produce honey. Many varieties are thorny; thornless varieties are available.
Optimum conditions for growth
Mesquite trees and shrubs are most commonly grown in the desert. They do well in areas with full sun and require little to moderate amounts of water. Established trees are drought tolerant but can handle some water. Prune to cut out dead and broken limbs.
Leaves and flowers of mesquite