Velvet Mesquite, Prosopis velutina

Velvet Mesquite
Prosopis velutina



Tree

Leaves

Thorns

Seed Pods

Flower Spike

Bark

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Family: Leguminosae (Fabaceae), Pea Family
Perennial
Plant Size: Generally less than 25' (7.5 M) in our area.
Blooms in: Spring
Habitat Preferred: Washes, flat land below about 4000', edge riparian
Photo(s) taken at: Peck's Lake & Tavasci Marsh 9/29/99
Bloom Color: Yellow, fuzzy cylinders about 3" (8 cm)long.
Other Common Names: Common Mesquite
Origin: Native
Comments: Mesquite is one of the most important plants in the Verde Valley. Its usefulness to humans and wildlife is many fold. Many birds, insects and mammals eat the beans (some estimates are that 80% of a Coyote's diet is Mesquite beans in the late summer & fall), and native people ate a nutricious meal made from the dried beans. The pods are sweet. Mesquite "bosques" (small forests) around the Verde Valley are host habitat to a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. The plant virtually typifies Verde Valley flora.
Further Reference & Sources: "Arizona Flora", Kearney, Peebles, et. al., Univ. of California Press, 1951 w/1960 supp.;   "A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona", Anne Orth Epple, 1995, Falcon Press
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