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Useful Temperate Plants

Prosopis alpataco

Phil.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Prosopis alba fruticosa (Hauman) Monticelli

Prosopis juliflora fruticosa Hauman

Prosopis stenoloba Phil.

Common Name: Alpataco

No Image.

General Information

Prosopis alpataco is a spiny, deciduous shrub growing 20 - 300cm tall. The aerial shoots are erect, thin, flexuous; dispersed over a round surface up to 10 metres in diameter[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant is occasionally harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood. It is cultivated in Argentina to provide wind protection and to stabilize sand dunes and has potential for use in restoring degraded land[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

South America - southern Bolivia to central Argentina, Chile

Habitat

Amongst low-growing shrubs in alkaline and sandy clay soils in areas subject to flooding[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Prosopis alpataco is native from the arid temperate climate of southern central Argentina north to the tropics of southern Bolivia. In Argentina it can grow in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 80 - 200mm, and the mean annual temperature is 15 - 17°c[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Species in this genus generaly require a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. This species, however, is most commonly found growing in saline and alkaline, clay soils in areas subject to seasonal inundation and along river banks where floods are frequent[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Plants have a high tolerance of saline conditions, even when young[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant has a deep root system that extends downwards to reach the groundwater table[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].

Edible Uses

Seedpods - cooked. A thin layer of edible pulp is found inside the seedpod, it usually has a bitter flavour, though some plants with a sweeter-flavoured pulp can be found. A syrup can be made from the pods, though it is not acceptable to all palates[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The seedpods are 7 - 17cm long and 6 - 12mm wide[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

Infusions of both the leaves and seedpods are used medicinally, and are considered to be antiinflammatory, astringent and expectorant. They are used to treat conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery, colds and flu[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used in sand stabilization projects and to provide wind protection[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It has a good potential for use as a pioneer species in revegetating degraded areas[
1569
Title
Pharmacognostical Evaluation of the Roots of Pseudarthria viscida (Linn.)
Publication
Natural Product Sciences 13(3) : 214-219 (2007)
Author
Rajendran K.; Srinivasan K.K. & Shirwaikar A.
Publisher
 
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant is very spiny and so it is sometimes grown as a barrier hedge[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen for bees - the honey produced is of good quality[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

The wood is not as durable as some other members of the genus, and it is also considered to be weak; it is little used, but is sometimes employed in rural constructions and for poles. The stems are used to make barrier fences to keep out intruders[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The wood is generally considered a poor fuel since it burns quickly. The roots are more commonly used than the trunks, and usually in combination with the wood of other species[
1560
Title
Prosopis alpataco Phil. (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae)
Publication
Kurtziana Tomo 36 (2): 53-64. 2011
Author
Riveros C.G.; Meglioli P.A. & Villagra P.E.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Propagation

Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-06-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Prosopis+alpataco>

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