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Honey Mesquite

Prospis juliflora glandulosa

Image of Honey mesquite
Whole Plant
Image of honey mesquite leaf
Leaf

Honey Mesquite (Prosopia glandulosa)

Yohey Hashimoto AGRO/HORT 100G Spring 2002 The common desert shrub, Honey Mesquite (Prosopia glandulosa), has attractive features that promote sustainable agriculture in an arid climate. A distinctive characteristic of Honey Mesquite is its uses for both human and livestock. Honey mesquite has nutritional seedpods that are processed for sugar or flour. As well as seedpods, Honey Mesquite is used for cattle forage. Moreover, Honey Mesquite produces a quality wood that is used for interior flooring and furniture.

Honey mesquite thrives in even severe environmental conditions. Originating in a desert climate, honey mesquite can tolerate water deficiency, poor water quality and saline soils. An amazing finding is that honey mesquite can grow in the soil that has salt concentration equivalent to seawater. Multi-purposed uses and high survivability make Honey Mesquite an important plant for sustainable agriculture in an arid environment. In fact, sustaining agriculture in arid areas in which severe climatic factors adversely affect agricultural practices is an acute issue. Utilizing Honey Mesquite for arid land agriculture can increase food and resource production. In addition, utilizing Honey Mesquite as agroforestry can enhance the productivity of arid land. Therefore, Honey Mesquite is a key to pursuing sustainable agriculture by naturally producing food products and renewable resources (wood) in an arid environment.

Scott Massey Agro/Hort 100. Spring 1999 Prosopia glandulosa or honey mesquite, is an attractive tree withredish-gray branches. It has a short trunk about 18 inches in diameter andcan grow to reach 40 feet in height. Honey mesquite can be found over large areas in the Southwest, including southern Texas and eastern New Mexico.

The honey mesquite flourished with the introduction of livestock by europeansettlers. Livestock are a very effective means of seed dispersal for theplant. It is believed that the small populations of honey mesquite foundin southern California and around Shreveport Louisiana were introduced throughlivestock-transported seed along railways and stage routes.

This tree has been used by humans for many purposes. It has been usedas a source of shelter, food, and medicine. Honey mesquite also makes anexcellent source of fuel for cooking.