Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Prosopis juliflora var. velutina.
Pea (Fabaceae) family.
Duration: Perennial. Nativity: Native. Lifeform: Tree. General: Common, shrub or tree, reaching to 17 m, with dark brown, thick bark that comes off in long narrow strips and hard, heavy, reddish-brown, yellow sapwood. Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, bipinnately compound, with 1 or 2 pairs of pinnae each with 9-30 pairs leaflets; leaflet 4-13 mm long, oblong, closely spaced on stalk; paired straight stipular spines 1-2 cm borne at nodes. Flowers: Greenish yellow flowers in spikelike racemes 5-12 cm long. Fruits: Legume 7.6-20.3 cm long, pubescent, non-dehiscent, sweetish pulp. Ecology: Common along washes, in bottomlands, slopes and mesas from 3,000-5,500 ft (914-1675 m). Distribution: c and s CA, AZ, NM; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a small shrub (<1 m) to a large tree (>15 m) with pubescence on leaves, twigs and pods; the bipinnate leaves with 1 or 2 pairs of pinnae, always with hairs; stout, straight paired spines on either side of leaves; and the longer than 4 cm, semi-straight, compressed, light brown-tan pods, as opposed to coiled pods in P. pubescens . Ethnobotany: Excellent fuel, charcoal, posts, novelties, cattle eat the pods, browse, honey; grassland invader; pods make highly edible flour. Etymology: Prosopis was a Greek name for burdock (seemingly misnamed), while velutina refers to velvet-like.
Saguaro National Park East
Location: Loma Alta Trail near trailhead
See SEINet Pictures and Description
See FireFly Forest Pictures and Description