Velvet Mesquite


Scientific Name: Prosopis  velutina (juniflora)

Common Name: Velvet    Mesquite

Family: Fabaceae, Pea family

Duration: Perennial

Size: Up to 30 feet or more.

Growth Form: Tree or shrub; spiny branches arched and drooping, stems somewhat zigzag, crown spread often wider than height, trunk diameter up to 2.5 feet.

Leaves: Green; pinnately compound, generally glabrous

Flower Color: Yellow, light yellow; inflorescence in catkin-like spikes, fruit a legume, pods narrowed slightly between seeds, generally glabrous.

Flowering Season: March to August.

Prosopis velutina is "Salvage Assessed", "Harvest Restricted". (A permit is needed from the Department of  Agriculture to transport this species off of private land.)

Comments: The dry, tan-colored bean pods are edible and can be ground into sweet, rich, nutritious       mesquite flour. The beans and the fragrant wood can be burned to flavor smoked and barbecued meat. The flowers attract numerous honeybees and are a source for delicious mesquite honey.