In a Nutshell:
* Prosopis glandulosa, commonly known as honey mesquite, is a species of small to medium-sized, thorny shrub or tree in the legume family (Fabaceae).
* The plant is primarily native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Its range extends into southern Kansasand eastern Texas, where average annual rainfall is in excess of 40 inches (100 cm
* Prosopis glandulosa has rounded big and floppy, drooping branches with feathery foliage and straight, paired spines on twigs. This tree normally reaches 20–30 ft (6.1–9.1 m), but can grow as tall as 50 ft (15 m). It is considered to have a medium growth rate.
* Prosopis glandulosa has been intentionally introduced into at least a half-dozen countries. The IUCN considers it as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species outside its native habitat range.
* Prosopis glandulosa shrubs and trees provide shelter and nest building material for wildlife, and produce seed pods in abundance containing beans that are a seasonal food for diverse birds and small mammal species. As the common name indicates, Honey mesquite is a honey plant that supports native pollinator species of bees and other insects, and cultivated honey bees. It is a larval host for the Long-tailed Skipper and Reakirt's Blue butterfly.
* Mesquite flour contains abundant protein and carbohydrates, and can be used in recipes as a substitute for wheat flour.
* In Namibia, although an invasive species, it has qualities that have made it useful for humans, including: growing extremely rapidly there, having very dense shade, abundantly producing seed pods, and a readily available firewood.
* The indigenous peoples of California and southwestern North America used parts of Prosopis glandulosa as a medicinal plant, food source, building and tools material, and fuel. The Cahuilla ate the blossoms and pods, which were ground into meal for cake.
* Historically, it was a very important wild food plant because it fruits even during drought years.
* The hard wood is prized for making tools and arrow points, and for the unique flavor it lends to foods cooked over it. more...