Form: single or multistemmed small tree or shrub; vase shaped, open and spreading
characteristic seed pods of
Size: to 25-40ft with equal spread
Leaves: bipinnately compound, lacy
Flowers: 1-2in pendulous yellow spikes; bloom in May & June
Fruit: corkscrew-curled bean pods develop through the summer
Stems/Trunks: sharp spines; dark bark on trunk and older limbs, bark sheds in long stringy pieces
Range/Origin: riparian areas of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts
Hardiness: thought to be to 10-15°F
- good small or patio tree, where spines are not a problem
- filtered shade
- distinctive corkscrew pods add interest summer through fall
- barrier hedge (shrub form)
- Exposure: full sun
- Water: deep and infrequent; for best appearance water every 2 weeks while in leaf
- Soil: any, good drainage
- Propagation: seed
- Maintenance: pod cleanup; training to tree form when young if desired
Prosopis pubescens close-up of blooms
Research by Master Gardener Devona Painter
also known as "Tornillo"
Great choice as a natural trellis for climbing vines.
Also a good nurse tree for sun-sensitive small specimen cacti.
thorns on Screwbean mesquite tree
detail of peeling bark
return to common name index return to Botanical name index browse by
This page was first created March 27, 2004 and last modified February 10, 2006.
Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2004 - 2006 Arizona Board of Regents. All contents copyrighted. All rights reserved.