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Useful Temperate Plants

Prosopis velutina

Wooton

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Prosopis chilensis velutina (Wooton) Standl.

Prosopis juilflora velutina (Wooton) Sarg.

Neltuma velutina (Wooton) Britton & Rose

Common Name: Velvet Mesquite

No Image.

General Information

Prosopis velutina is a spiny, deciduous tree with a spreading, rounded crown; it can grow up to 15 metres tall. The bole is short[
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.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is cultivated as a source of fuel in arid areas.
Prosopis velutina has been widely introduced and planted as a fuel and fodder tree. The seed are spread widely by grazing animals either from established plantations or from single trees around houses or water-holes, and will persist for long periods in the seed bank. The plant has shown itself to be a very aggressive invader, especially in arid and semi-arid natural grasslands, both in the native range and where introduced. Invasion in the native range generally involves an increase in plant density rather than an increase in its range. It is a declared noxious weed in Australia and South Africa, and the genus as a whole is regulated in several other countries[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

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.

Range

Southwestern N. America - Arizona, New Mexico, northern Mexico (Sonora)

Habitat

Desert washes and plains, commonly invading extensively and/or over-exploited degraded grasslands, wastelands, watercourses,; growing in a very wide range of soils and site types from sand dunes to cracking clays[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]; elevations up to 1,700 metres[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Prosopis velutina is a plant of arid and semi-arid regions of southwestern N. America, where it experiences very high temperatures in the summer and frosts in the winter, tolerating occasional lows down to -20°c[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Species in this genus generaly require a suny 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.
]. Succeeds in a wide range of soils from sands to heavy clays[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. Tolerates saline and alkaline soils[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant can tolerate pruning of the lower branches and it can be shaped into a small tree with an exposed trunk or left to grow naturally with the branches touching the ground[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

The pods of this mesquite provided an important food to the Maricopa, Pima, Haulapais, and other tribes of the Southwest and are still very important today[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The pods or the seeds alone are ground in a mortar or the seeds are sometimes parched and afterwards ground into a meal that is very nourishing. This meal is eaten as is, used to sweeten other seed mixtures, or made into bread[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The seedpod is 8 - 16cm long, by 6 - 10mm wide, each pod containing 10-17 seeds ovate seeds 5 - 7mm long[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Traditionally a drink was prepared from the beans by pounding them in a stone mortar, mixing cold water with the flour, and the product was strained and drank[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Medicinal

The black gum from the mesquite was an important medicine to the Pima. It was boiled with a little water and applied to sore lips and gums, chapped fingers, and taken internally to cleanse the system[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Mesquite leaves were pounded and boiled and placed on the eyes of Pima individuals as a treatment for pink eye[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The flowers are used as a source of bee food in the honey industry[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Other Uses

A gum of excellent quality, comparable to gum arabic (Senegalia senegal) can be obtained from the trunk[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. The Pima used the black gum in a concoction to dye gray hair black[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

The bark is a source of tannins[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

A fibre obtained from the bark can be used in making cord[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

The wood is of good quality, though rarely available in any but small dimensions[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. It is used for fence posts and the heartwood takes a fine polish[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The wood makes a high quality fuel and a charcoal of excellent quality[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

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+velutina>

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