Summary: 2 &Backyards Beyond
FeaturedPlant Mesquite is a nitrogen-fixing tree or shrub of the
genus Prosopis (bean or legume family, Fabaceae). In
the United States there are three main species: velvet
mesquite (P. velutina, inArizona), honey mesquite
(P. glandulosa var. glandulosa, in New Mexico and
Texas) and western honey mesquite (P. glandulosa var.
torreyana, in California). Mesquite also occurs in South
America,Africa, the Middle East, India andAustralia.
On sandy or shallow soils, mesquite is a low-
growing, multi-stemmed shrub. On deeper, loamier
soils it can be a large shrub. In riparian zones, arroyos
or where there is permanent water within 15 feet of
the soil surface, or where annual rainfall is >20 inches,
mesquites may be tree-like in size and architecture.
One mesquite in Real County, Texas stands 52 feet tall
with a trunk circumference of 152 inches.
Widespread across the Southwestern USAfrom
central Texas to California and from Oklahoma into
Mexico, mesquite has had a significant influence