77 Mesquite Tree Types: Benefits, Growing Locations, Care Tips

Mesquite tree in an oval frame on green background.

Have you ever wanted to know more about the Mesquite Tree?

Most people know about Mesquite wood used as a flavor in potato chips and other foods. Mesquite wood and charcoal are popular flavor enhancers in many types of food.

West Texas Style BBQ, which is generally cooked over Mesquite wood, was recently voted as the 15th most popular form of BBQ out of 16.1

But, the Mesquite tree has a lot more to offer than a flavor enhancer.

Mesquite is a paradoxical ancient plant that was first identified over 3,300 years ago, but may be much older.

Some people view the ancient Mesquite Tree as an invasive plant menace that should be eradicated, while others see its merits outweighing any problems it might cause.

This guide offers a fascinating look at the Mesquite tree, its benefits and the growing conditions it requires, as well as identification techniques and growing tips that can help you if you plan to propagate this tree. 

Mesquite Tree Basics: Reasons for Eradication

Mesquite is valued for supplying lumber, edible seed, Mesquite wood-derived food products, animal feed, and more. The plant is also notorious for being an aggressively invasive nuisance weed that can disrupt the ecology of local fauna and wildlife.

Mesquite can live for centuries and is virtually impervious to plant diseases and pest infestation.

Mesquite is internationally notorious as an invasive plant in several continents and countries. Comprehensive research papers have been written about how Mesquite’s invasion of Western Australia is threatening the country’s ecosystem.

International field guides are written to help governments identify Mesquite to help facilitate the creation of effective eradication programs.2

There is no need to panic. Mesquite has existed for thousands of years and has been spread by animals for just as long. The plant is abundant in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Unless you might potentially endanger a local ecosystem with the introduction of an invasive species, you can safely grow Mesquite for its many benefits.

You should be 100% certain that you want to grow this plant. Once you plant it you probably won’t be able to get rid of it if you change your mind. Its drawbacks only outweigh its benefits depending on where you live.

Some experts believe that only 45+ species and subspecies of Mesquite exist. However, since the plant has existed for over 3,300 years, and has an impenetrable reputation as a particularly aggressive invasive species, hundreds of undiscovered and unverified Mesquite Tree species may exist.

If you’re interested in learning about or planting the Mesquite Tree, this handy guide will introduce you to 77 species.



Mesquite tree in an oval frame on green background.
  • Characteristics: The Mesquite Tree is a small leguminous shrub and tree with thorny, spiky branches, yellowish, brown, and reddish bark, and the ability to flower and fruit edible bean pods. The plant thrives in arid, dry, and desert-like regions
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Prosopis
  • Leaf: Olive green colored, sharply pointed and narrow leaves
  • Bark: Yellow, brown, and red colored
  • Seed: Fruits edible seeds in pods
  • Blossoms: April and May
  • Fruit: Edible seeds in pods
  • Native Habitat: Southwestern United States, Central and South America
  • Height: Typical Mesquite tree can grow anywhere between 30 to 50 feet tall
  • Canopy: 20 to 35 feet
  • Type: Deciduous

Image Credit: Forestowlet36

Mesquite Tree Facts

The Mesquite Tree is in no immediate danger of going extinct and is not on the IUCN Red List.

However, Mesquite is listed as #10 on a list of 15 of the most invasive alien animal or plant species by the IUCN.3 Mesquite shrubs and thickets, which have very spiky thorns, can become impassible obstacles in wildlands to grazing livestock trying to access water sources.

The Mesquite Tree can grow as a small shrub, tree, or very tall tree. A Mesquite Tree can have one or multiple twisting trunks that grow branches with very sharp and spiky thorns.

Sometimes the thorns can be as long as two inches.

Mesquite is technically a legume plant. It is a part of the Fabaceae family and is related to peanuts, alfalfa beans, and peas.

Mesquite seeds are edible and grow in long slender pods like green peas.

Related Reading: How Do Peanuts Grow? The Difference of “Tree Nuts” & Where They Come From

Mesquite Trees are hardy plants that can thrive in dry, arid, and desert regions. They are virtually impenetrable to insect infestations and plant diseases.

Mesquite plants are considered dangerous and invasive plant species in certain governments of the world and owners of large-acre properties in arid land, grazing areas, and desert regions.

There are three primary species of Mesquite that are native to the Southwestern United States. They include but are not limited to:

  • Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa, native to Texas)
  • Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina, native to Arizona)
  • Screwbean Mesquite A.K.A. Tornillo Mesquite (Prosopis pubescens, native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico)

Mesquite wood offers many benefits. It is very strong and sturdy – it has been used to build ships in the past but is now primarily used to build sturdy and long-lasting furniture.

Mesquite wood is an integral part of BBQ culture in the United States when it comes to smoking, charcoal, and wood burning. It is also used to make wax, gum, sugar, flour, and other food products.

The seeds that it fruits in pods are edible.

The Mesquite Tree is well-known for providing nourishing nitrogen to the surrounding soil areas where they are planted. The nitrogen-rich bacteria in the roots of Mesquite Trees have amazing nitrogen-fixing abilities.

That means that the bacteria in Mesquite roots can activate inert nitrogen in the soil around it.

Dropped Mesquite leaves and dying Mesquite Trees and shrubs also deposit a lot of nitrogen in their surrounding soil. Mesquite trees can effectively fertilize themselves, the surrounding soil, and any trees nearby.

Read More: Can You Identify Various Types of Trees by Sight? Read this guide to identify 28 species by species, leaves, and color.

How To Identify Mesquite Tree

As a shrub, Mesquite Trees are short and grow up to a height of three or four feet. Mesquite shrubs usually grow in shallow soil.

Mesquite Trees tend to grow in deep soil with long taproots.

Identifying Mesquite Tree Leaves

The leaves are fern-like and have pointy tips. They are usually olive green, green, or greyish-green colored.

Graphic of Mesquite tree identification chart with its leaves, tree, flowers, seed pods, and bark in circle frames on green background.

The bark can look scaly and rough looking. It is usually yellowish, brown, brick-red, or even black-colored, depending on the region.

Sometimes the trunk can be two or more shrub stems that grew and twisted around each other.

Mesquite Tree Thorns

The branches and even sometimes the bark of the tree grow spiky thorns that can be at least two inches long.

Mesquite Tree Flower

The flowers of the tree can be light yellow or green colored and cylindrical in shape. They have a light fragrance and are known as catkins.

Mesquite Tree Seeds

Another way to identify a Mesquite Tree is by looking for light yellow or brown-colored seed pods that dangle from the branches.

The Mesquite Tree is Deciduous, meaning that it can become dormant during winter and drop leaves. But they are known for existing in very dry, arid, hot, and desert-like regions.

Read More: Can You Visually Identify The Anatomical Parts of a Tree? Read this guide to identify the leaves, bark, trunk, and 10 other parts of a tree.

Are Mesquite Beans Edible?

Yes. The flowers and seeds, or technically beans since the mesquite tree is leguminous, are edible.

The beans of the mesquite tree can be eaten raw or processed in numerous ways.4

Mesquite beans can be used for animal feed. Wild animals have been eating seeds from the Mesquite Tree for centuries.

Native, indigenous peoples of the Americas have been eating the seeds and food derived from the Mesquite Tree for centuries.5 In 2019, corporate food marketing teams were even trying to brand Mesquite seeds and flour as a new, non-glutenous healthy superfood.6

Are Mesquites Invasive?

Yes. Mesquite shrubs and trees were introduced to the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania as animal feed or to stop erosion in strategic areas.

Now, Mesquite is becoming an invasive plant that is damaging some local ecosystems.

The spiky and thorny bark and branches of the tree can grow in areas that block the watering holes used by wild and domesticated cattle. Ripping them up or removing them can further spread their seeds, guaranteeing new growth.

Mesquite tree growth chart showing full grown Mesquite tree on a line graph with Mesquite tree age on the x-axis and Mesquite tree height on the y-axis.

Mesquite Tree roots are very invasive and can grow deep to access all the water in a local area. Sometimes they can prevent other plants and trees from accessing any available water.

Mesquite shrubs and thickets can sometimes provide shelter to feral wild hogs, cats, and other animals too.

How To Kill Mesquite Trees

To kill a Mesquite Tree, you would need to dig up the trunk and roots and burn them. Or you can clear burn them in the soil.

Or you can use industrial herbicide products.

Mesquite Tree Disease Prevention

The Mesquite Tree has persisted for thousands of years. They are virtually resistant to plant diseases and pests.

The Mesquite Tree can be susceptible to two or three kinds of wood rot and fungus. You need to keep vigilant for signs of dying limbs and wood rot.

Diseased limbs and roots can be cut away and the tree will survive.

How To Stop Mesquite Tree Disease

Look for signs of powdery mildew on the bark, leaves, and branches, which is a sign of fungus. Don’t overwater your Mesquite Tree or shrub.

Consult an arborist when in doubt, but the Mesquite species is known for being virtually immune to the ravages of most plant diseases.

What Are the Common Pests of the Mesquite Tree?

The Mesquite Tree is usually impervious to pests, but there are several desert-dwelling pests that could infest a Mesquite Tree. They include:

  • Mealybugs
  • Aphids
  • Mesquite Borer
  • Mesquite Girdler

Types of Mesquite Tree

If you live in the southwestern United States, then you probably live near Mesquite species like Prosopis glandulosa (Honey Mesquite).

If you are considering planting Mesquite or traveling to a part of the world where Mesquite is considered an invasive species, here is a complete guide with 77 specie variants of Prosopis for you to consider.

Please note that most of the plant species on this list have the same characteristics; differences will be noted when applicable.

The fact that so many similar sub-specie variants of Prosopis exist has caused a lot of taxonomic confusion in the scientific community.

That is just a fancy way of saying that because so many variants of Prosopis sub-species have similar aesthetics and properties, many scientific researchers have accidentally classified the same plant with different variant names as if it were more than one plant.

There are Prosopis species in many parts of the world that have not been even discovered yet. Or they are mistakenly classified as a sub-species of existing plants.7

An expert in one country may recognize a Mesquite Tree species while it is unrecognized in others.

Many scientific researchers still can’t agree which Prosopis species and sub-species classifications still exist, were erroneously classified, or need to be completely renamed or obsoleted.

When you see the term “unresolved,” in this guide, it refers to the international scientific community being unable to agree on general classification terms.

Photo of the Mesquite Tree focused on its seed pods hanging down from its branches.

(Image: mdherren32)

This is a problem because if science does not know as much as possible about the Prosopis species, then it can’t discern the depths of its potential benefits. It also can’t develop effective biocontrol or eradication strategies if the plant becomes catastrophically invasive in certain parts of the world.

While this exhaustive list of 77 Prosopis species was painstakingly researched, please keep in mind that the official classification and names of such species are always being changed and updated in the scientific community.

Currently Known Species of Mesquite Tree

Scientific nameDescription
1.Prosopis abbreviata (Algarrobillo Espinoso, “Spiny Locust”)This is a flowering plant related to the pea. It is native to Argentina and may become endangered due to habitat loss
2.Prosopis aculeataA Prosopis subspecies that was first classified in 1799. It is unverified if the species still exists but Australia still bans the species from its country
3.Prosopis affinis
This plant is native to Argentina, Australia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. It has a distinctive flat-top canopy
4.Prosopis africana
(African Mesquite)
Native to Africa, the seeds of this tree are fermented and used to make gum and fermented food condiments
5.Prosopis alba
(White Carob Tree)
This plant is native to South America. Its seeds have been feeding local natives for centuries.
It cannot stand cold weather when growing.This plant is notable because it can sometimes grow to become completely thornless
6. Prosopis alpataco30This plant is native to Boliva, Chile, and Argentina. Along with providing food and medicine to the local population, this plant is also used to gird against soil loss
7. Prosopis articulata
(Bitter Mesquite)23
Prosopis articulata is a sub-species variant of Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina)
8. Prosopis argentina22This plant is a sub-species variant of Prosopis alba
9. Prosopis astringens18Prosopis astringens was classified back in 1833 but its species name has been retired in some countries like Australia. It is also known as Acacia atramentaria
10. Prosopis atacamensisThis plant is a sub-species variant of Prosopis alba
Photo of the Mesquite Tree showing its lengthy branches and small, green leaves.

(Image: ARTLOP32)

Scientific nameDescription
11. Prosopis barba-tigridisRetired species name – renamed Prosopis kuntzei
12. Prosopis bonplandiaThis is a Prosopis species that is not universally verified as being in the Mesquite family
13. Prosopis bonplandianaThis Mesquite sub-species is legally classified as an invasive pest in Australia and is not allowed in the country
14. Prosopis bracteolataA Mesquite sub-species variant of Prosopis juliflora
15. Prosopis burkartii24This is a Mesquite sub-species that is native to South America and Chile in particular. It was considered an endangered plant species in northern Chile in 2017.8
At the time, only 50 specimens of Prosopis burkartii were known to exist in the area
16. Prosopis caldeniaNative to subtropical regions of Argentina. It can thrive in sandy soil
17. Prosopis calingastana25This Mesquite shrub is native to the Southwestern United States and South America. It usually grows three feet tall and prefers dry, arid, and desert regions
18. Prosopis campestris26This is a rarer and localized species of Prosopis that is native to Argentina. The plant is considered an invasive pest in some regions there9
19. Prosopis elata28It’s a Mesquite Tree species that is native to Paraguay and Argentina. Prosopis elata shares many similar characteristics with Prosopis campestris – they may be the same Mesquite sub-species that was erroneously classified twice
20. Prosopis casadensisIt’s a South America native Mesquite tree that may also be a redundant classification of Prosopis kuntzei
Photo of the Mesquite Tree focused on its spine-like leaves.

(Image: Dinkum33)

Scientific nameDescription
21. Prosopis castellanosii19This is a rare version of the Mesquite Tree that is native to Argentina and some parts of South America. It is an extreme xerophyte, meaning that it can survive and thrive with veyr little water.
It is considered an invasive pest in Australia and is banned from being imported into the country without legal permission
22. Prosopis chilensis (Thornless Chilean Mesquite)This mesquite tree is native to Chile and known to be thornless. It has also been legally introduced to Hawaii.
It is primarily used to provide firewood and animal feed
23: Prosopis chilensis MolinaThis is a sub-species variant of Prosopis chilensis. It is used to make herbal medicine and has been purposely introduced and distributed in many developing countries in Africa10
24. Prosopis cineraria
(Jand, Druce, or Ghaf)
This Mesquite Tree species is native to South and East Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. It is considered the national tree in several Indian states and in the United Arab Emirates.
Some specimens of this species live for 400 years in Bahrainian deserts with very little water. The seeds of the tree is used for human food and livestock feed. In times of extreme famine, the bark of the tree can be ground into flour
25. Prosopis reptans var. Cinerascens
(Dwarf Screwbean Mesquite)
It’s a dwarf shrub variant of Prosopis reptans. Native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.
It is usually planted as a strategic erosion control method. Once planted, it is nearly impossible to eradicate since it is aggressively invasive
26: Prosopis cumanensisThis Mesquite Tree species is generally agreed to be a redundant classification of Prosopis juliflora. It is generally not recognized as a species anymore
27. Prosopis denudans (Patagonian Carob Tree)27This Mesquite Tree is native to Patagonia, a region jointly governed by Chile and Argentina. It is in danger of extinction due to accelerated deforestation by local indigenous people who use it for firewood and other purposes.11
Local animals also aggressively use it as a food source.
This plant can survive with very little water
28. Prosopis denudans var. patagonicaAlso known as Prosopis patagonica, this plant is a sub-species variant of Prosopis dedundans. Scientific experimentation has shown that the plant may have beneficial antifungal and antibacterial medicinal attributes
29. Prosopis domingensisThis plant is probably a redundant and outdated classification of Prosopis julifora
30. Prosopis dubia KunthThis plant is probably a redundant classification of Prosopis juliflora and perhaps other plants. It is native to Central and South America but is now found in the tropics throughout the world.
The plant is used for shade, food, and animal feed. Some indigenous people use it to make a soap substitute product12
Photo of the Mesquite Tree in a residential area.

(Image: Renebeto33)

Scientific nameDescription
31. Prosopis dulcisDepending on who you ask, this Mesquite Tree may be a redundant classification of Prosopis juliflora or a distinct Mesquite species with an outdated scientific name. Some scientific authorities believed the name is outdated and renamed it Prosopis laevigata (Smooth Mesquite)
Others believe that it is called Neltuma argentina and is native to Argentina
32. Prosopis dulcis var. australisThis scientific name is obsolete. It is probably a redundant classification of Prosopis nigra
33. Prosopis elata
This plant is native to Paraguay and Argentina. The seeds of the plant are wholly inedible due to their highly acidic nature
34. Proposis elegansMany scientific authorities do not acknowledge that this species exist. Or they believe that it is misclassified.
The Australian government recognizes the existence and the species and bans it importation
35. Prosopis elephantina (Dwarf Elephant)The scientific community disputes that this Prosopis classification is valid. It is native to and recognized in Africa
36. Prosopis elephantorrhiza (Elephant Root)This Mesquite plant variant is used as a vital medicinal ingredient in the African pharmaceutical industry13
37. Prosopis emoryiDiscontinued scientific classification variant of Prosopis. It is probably a redundant classification of Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite)
38. Prosopis ephedrioidesThis plant is now called Mimosa ephedroides. It is officially a Mimosa Tree, which is still related to the Mesquite Tree genus and shares many similar characteristics
39. Prosopis esquiroliiThis is an unresolved scientific name. That means that scientific experts don’t believe that this plant exists in the Prosopis genus, was mistakenly classified, or is a redundant name for an exisiting species.
It may be a Pterolobium punctatum species that shares the same Fabaceae.family species as the Mesquite Tree. This is the same family of plants as peanuts and legumes, beans, and peas
40. Prosopis faeculiferaThis scientific name is generally agreed to be unresolved or outdated. This plant is generally now called Parkia biglobosa, or African Locust Bean, and is native to Africa.
Each of its seed pods contains up to 30 seeds. The seeds are embedded in a sweet and edible pulp.
The plant is used locally for food and as a vital ingredient in medicine
Photo of the leaves of a Mesquite tree.

(Image: Thomas Farley33)

Scientific nameDescription
41. Prosopis farcta
(Syrian Mesquite)
This Mesquite Tree is native to the Middle East. It is an aesthetically deceptive tree – its tree top looks like a shrub above ground.
It may stand three feet tall above ground. But its taproot system could be as think as a tree trunk and go as deep as 100 feet or more.
The plant is considered an invasive weed in the area
42. Prosopis ferox29It’s a Mesquite Tree variant that is native to South America, especially Bolivia and Argentina.
The tree is used to make firewood and food by local people. The seed pods of this plant were left out in the open for six years in a scientific experiment.14
They showed no visible signs of decomposition and proved the seeds could be developed as an invaluable food source in the modern world
43. Prosopis fiebrigii31This mesquite variant is native to south America. The scientific community is not certain if the seeds are edible – more research is required.
Some experts call this plant Neltuma fiebrigii
44. Prosopis fischeriThis Mesquite variant is sometimes called Pseudoprosopis fischeri.15 The scientific name is unresolved – the scientific community may not agree that it exists or is classified properly.
It may be a redundant name for an existing mesquite tree. This plant is native to Africa, especially Zambia and Tanzania
45. Prosopis flexuosa
(Tortuous Mesquite)
It is native to South America, especially Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. Its leaves are more leathery than the prime genus versions of Mesquite.
The plant is used to make food, lumber, firewood, and charcoal locally
46. Prosopis fruticosaThis plant is probably a redundant variant clasification of Prosopis flexuosa
47. Prosopis gillesiiThis scientific name is unresolved. This plant may not exist or is generally misclassified.
Some experts believe that Prosopis gillesii is really Erythrostemon gilliesii. It is a shrub and tree that is related to mesquite via relation through the Fabaceae family connection.
It is native to South America but distributed in many countries. The plant is used to make medicine but the seeds are poisonous and inedible
48. Prosopis glandulosa
(Honey Mesquite)
This plant is what is usually referred to as “Mesquite,” in the United States. It is native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico
49. Prosopis glandulosa var. TorreyanaThis plant is a sub-species variant of Honey Mesquite
50. Prosopis globosa GilliesA mesquite variant native to Southern California and Northern Mexico. It may be a redundant classification of an existing mesquite tree – this plant was classified in 1956 and utterly baffled the researchers who first found it16
Photo of the Mesquite tree in a park beside a bench.

(Image: BubbaJuice33)

Scientific nameDescription
51. Prosopis globosa var. MexicanaThis plant is probably a variant of Prosopis globosa Gillies. Some experts have renamed this mesquite variant as Prosopidastrum mexicanum
52. Prosopis hasslerihis is a sub-variant of Prosopis alba that is also native to South America
53. Prosopis herzogii21This plant is probably a sub-variant of Prosopis hassleri. Some experts classify it as Parapiptadenia excelsa.
It is considered a prohibited invasive pest weed within Australia and is not allowed within its borders without a permit
54. Prosopis heterophylla BenthThis scientific name is unresolved. It is basically considered to be obsolete as a classification.
Many experts have renamed this Mesquite variant Mariosousa heterophylla or the Palo Blanco Tree. (White Stick Tree) It is related to the Mesquite via relation through the Fabaceae plant family
55. Prosopis horrida KunthObsolete classification. It may be a redundant classification of Prosopis juliflora. It is now called Prosopis juliflora var. Horrida.
Some experts call it Neltuma juliflora var. Horrida. It is native to India and Peru
56. Prosopis humilisIt is native to Argentina and South America. The plant grows nearly leafless relative to other Mesquite varieties
57. Prosopis julifloraThis is a Mesquite plant that is beneficial or an invasive pest depending on where it is planted.
One tree can produce hundreds of thousands of edible seeds. And the seeds will keep for a decade or longer without decomposing.
They are native to the Southern United States, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.
The plant is considered an invasive menance in Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The plant facilitates the transmission of malaria in affected regions – mosquitoes feed on this hardy plant when others are not available
58. Prosopis juliflora var. inermisA variant of Prosopis humilis that is native to Ecuador
59. Prosopis kirkiiThis classification is generally accepted to be outdated. This plant is native to Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
It has most of the same attributes of the Mesquite Tree.
Some experts renamed this plant Faidherbia albida. It is also called White Acacia.
It is used to make food, lumber, livestock feed, and a soap substitute. This mesquite variant is banned in Australia
60. Prosopis koelzianaThis Mesquite variant is native to the Middle East, Gulf States, and Arabian Peninsula
Photo of the branches and leaves of the Mesquite tree.

(Image: Miekks34)

Scientific nameDescription
61. Prosopis kuntzeiIt is native to South America. It is used for food and lumber.
Sometimes the bark or wood is so dark that it can be used as a substitute for ivory
62. Prosopis laevigata
(Smooth Mesquite)
This is a Mesquite variant that is native to Mexico, South America, and the Middle East
63. Prosopis lanceolataThis scientific classification may be a redundancy of Prosopis africana. Some experts believe that this plant is really called Entada abyssinica.
It is native to Central Africa and related to the Mesquite Tree via its connection to the Fabaceae family.17 It is primarily used to make medicine
64. Prosopis mayanaMore research on the viability and existence of this plant is needed. Its status is considered unresolved by science experts.
It may be native to Mexico, especially along its Yucatan coastline. The plant is banned in Australia
65. Prosopis nigra
(Black Carob Tree)
This Mesquite variant is native to South America. It is used to make durable lumber, food, flour, and even an alcoholic drink
66. Prosopis nudaThis Mesquite variant is native to Paraguay and Bolivia. It is sometimes called Neltuma nuda
67. Prosopis pallida
(American Carob)
It’s native to the Southwestern United States, South America, and Hawaii. Some specimens of this species can live for 1,000 years
68. Prosopis palmeriThis is a Mesquite variant native to Mexico
69. Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite)The seed pods of this variant aesthetically resemble a curving screw-like shape. It’s native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico
70. Prosopis pugionataIt is a South American native variant of the Mesquite Tree. More research must be conducted on this species to discern its benefits
Photo of the leafy vines of the Mesquite tree.

(Image: Scot Nelson35)

Scientific nameDescription
71. Prosopis rojasianaThis Mesquite Tree is native to Paraguay and is nearly leafless
72. Prosopis ruizlealiiThis plant is native to South America and especially Argentina. It is probably a sub-species variant or redundant classification of Prosopis denudans
73. Prosopis ruscifoliaIt is native to South America, especially in Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina
74. Prosopis sericanthaThis Mesquite Tree species is native to Argentina and Paraguay
75. Prosopis strombulifera (Argentine Screwbean)It is native to Argentina but can be found in California. The seed pod is coiled and screw-like
76. Prosopis tamarugoThis tree is native to Chile. It is known for growing robustly in saline-rich soil where other trees cannot
77.Prosopis velutina
(Velvet Mesquite)
This Mesquite variant is native to Arizona and the Sonoran desert shared by the United States and Mexico. The seeds can only germinate after a scarifying process – the seeds must pass through the digestive tracts of wild animals.
The animals then disperse the seeds as they travel

What Are the Best Planting Tips for Mesquite Tree?

Plant your Mesquite Tree in a remote area where it won’t interrupt the local ecosystem or infrastructure. Mesquite Trees have taproots and root systems that spread wide and can go down hundreds of feet – your mesquite tree could grow thorny shrubs as obstacles that stop livestock from accessing water.

It can also grow big enough underground to crack your plumbing or the foundation of your home.

Is There Any Other Tree With Spikes on Trunk?

There are many trees that naturally grow spiky thorns on their trunk. They include:

  • Floss Silk Tree
  • Coral Tree
  • Hawthorn Tree
  • Fever Tree
  • Hercules’ Club Tree

Is the Mesquite One of the Most Dangerous Trees in the World?

The answer can go either way depending on where you live. The IUCN declared Mesquite Trees as the 10th most invasive species in the world, therefore, it could be ranked as one of the most dangerous trees on earth to some areas.

But the Mesquite Tree is also an invaluable source of food and commerce for people all over the world, so the benefits of having this hardy tree growing in it proper location definitely outweigh the drawbacks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mesquite Tree

Where Do I Find How Long It Takes To Grow Mesquite Tree?

Mesquite trees can grow about a foot or two annually. If they have access to too much water, they may grow too quickly in a short time – subsequently, its wood won’t be as strong.

Can I Learn When To Plant Mesquite Tree for the Best Yield?

You can plant a Mesquite Tree in the early months of spring or late autumn.

What Are the Growing Zones for Mesquite Tree? Where To Grow for Best Results?

Mesquite Tree will grow optimally in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 through 11.

How Much Sunlight Does Mesquite Tree Need Each Day?

The typical Mesquite Tree will need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

What Are the Watering Needs for Mesquite Tree Plants?

Mesquite Tree plants are notorious for thriving on little water, but after you plant them you must water them on a schedule. Water the plant or tree until the soil is thoroughly soaked and then water it every 14, 21, or 30 days, depending on when the soil becomes dry again.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Mesquite Tree?

Mesquite Trees can grow almost anywhere since they are notorious for growing in arid, drought-ridden deserts. Just make sure to plant in an area with well-draining soil.

Can I Learn How Far Apart To Plant Mesquite Tree?

Plant your mesquite plants or trees at least 16 to 20 feet apart from each other. Don’t plant them next to other trees or plants – mesquite trees are notorious for greedily accessing all available water underground.

Are There Any Thornless Mesquite?

Yes. Thornless Chilean Mesquite.

Are Mesquite Beans Edible?

Barring one or two species, yes, they are edible. People have been eating mesquite beans for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Is Mesquite Landscaping Practical?

Many landscapers and homeowners plant Mesquite for landscaping aesthetics because it doesn’t need a lot of water to survive and is extremely low maintenance.

What Are the Best Companion Plants for Growing Mesquite Tree?

An Acacia Tree is a great companion tree for the Mesquite. It has similar qualities, like edible seed pods, and the tree is also a natural poison for rodents.

Is Mesquite a Honey Plant?

You can make sugar or syrup from some forms of Mesquite, but is not related to honey plants.

Are Honey Mesquite and Velvet Mesquite the Same Species?

No. They are different species of the same genus, Prosopis.

Are Mesquite Trees Really South American Trees?

No one knows for certain where Mesquite originated. They are spread all over the world and considered invasive by many governments, so they are not really native to one continent anymore.

Is Growing Mesquite Tree From a Seed Difficult?

You may need to place them in moist moss and then freeze them for two months – some species of Mesquite require the seeds to pass through an animal before they germinate. Depending on the species, the easiest way is to place a seed in a container with gravel and water it for two months.

Is Growing a Mesquite Tree From a Cutting Difficult?

It could be difficult. You need to place the cutting in a soilless medium like gravel or perlite, cover it with plastic, and water it until moist daily for a few weeks.

Is Growing a Mesquite Tree From a Seedling Difficult?

Only as difficult as growing it from a seed.

What Is Natural Pest Control for Mesquite Tree?

Hose off parts of the tree with visible signs of infestation. You can also strategically prune and cut away any parts of the tree with signs of infestation.

Is Mesquite Tree Arizona the Official Tree of the State?

The Palo Blue Verde is the official state tree of Arizona. The tree is related to the Mesquite Tree via a connection to the Fabaceae family of legumes, beans, and peas.

Is There a Deep Roots Mesquite Tree?

The roots of a Mesquite shrub can go down a few feet. A tall Mesquite Tree in a desert environment or drought region can have tap roots that go down as far as 200 feet.

What Is the Mesquite Tree Growing Zone?

Mesquite Trees optimally grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 through 11.

What Parts of a Tree Like Mesquite Are Dangerous?

Its thorns can be very long and spiky. It can grow spiky shrubs as wide obstacles in deserts and arid regions which prevent animals and livestock from reaching watering holes.

How Many Types of Trees Are There?

There are probably over 82,000 types of distinct tree species in existence.20 The Mesquite Tree is just one of the tens of thousands of types of trees in existence.


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25Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (2023). ITIS – Report: Prosopis calingastana. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from <https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=565987#null>

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28Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (2023). ITIS – Report: Prosopis elata. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from <https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=565991#null>

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32mesquite-tree-pods-desert-texas-5346579 by mdherren.branches-tree-nature-branch-leaves-5276765 by ARTLOP Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/>

33Prosopis chilensis 2 by Dinkum. Mezquite by Renebeto. Honey Mesquite Flowers by Thomas Farley. <https://commons.wikimedia.org/>

34Prosopis Juliflora by Miekks. Large Prosopis chilensis by BubbaJuice <https://commons.wikimedia.org/>

35Scot Nelson. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flickr.com/photos/scotnelson/23222229185/in/photolist-Bo4ZFP-FKQGM8-GFd8kP-WjmuxT-FKFahd-FKFdhS-otGJv7-k5RWqc-FKQ25n-GCRyEm-GCRpYd-FKQ5kk-FKFfz7-GCRnkh-oeQ1qg-2i5DahW-2i5DCwq-FKQ4pc-xem5Dn-FKFjLU-GFcXYn-GCRrHW-of1wmE-GwZPgw-FKFwQo-Gg67P1-FKFugW-GwZJpY-KpLhhJ-2i5DjvW-FKEWNL-xee6C1-FKEYfU-oeNosN-FKF6xQ-Ky5DwJ-GFdmPc-wP9pYH-GCRxeL-FKFzAd-GCRCr9-FKQ7vc-GFdykP-Gg6kFo-k5PMux-Gg65z1-GCRAHj-FKFqsy-oxda2V-FKEVaW>

361-IMG 0117 01 Image Photo by Forestowlet / CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resize and change format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1-IMG_0117_01.JPG>