Prosopis argentina

Name and classification

Prosopis argentina Burkart
Family Fabaceae, Tribe Mimosoideae

NOTE: Very few seeds of Prosopis argentina were available for examination. Therefore, the description and images in this fact sheet may not be representative of this species’ seeds.

Common names

mesquite

Description

Pods linear-moniliform, terete, lax; 5–13 cm long; with 4–14 globose to ellipsoid articles each 6–8 mm in diameter, 8–12 mm long, and central isthmi very thin. Stipitate, apex short-tapered to caudate. Surface ridges wrinkled to irregularly folded. Endocarp segments with convex faces and acute extremities, bony, closed; mesocarp thin. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds slightly narrowly obovate to elliptic in outline, 6–7.5 mm long, 3.25–4.5 mm wide, 2–3 mm thick, usually compressed along edges, rising to prominent umbo, +/– spindle-shaped in cross section, radicle lobe sometimes prominent. Pleurogram small, narrow, somewhat basal. Lens a light-colored mound.

Identification considerations

The linear-moniliform, red to reddish-brown pods are unique in the genus. Seeds have a relatively small pleurogram.

Distribution

Argentina

Habitat

dry conditions, in sand dunes, found at 2000 m elevation

General information

Prosopis argentina is a spiny shrub 1.5–3 m tall, capable of thriving in conditions of extreme drought.

seeds

seeds

seed

seed

lens and hilum of seed

lens and hilum of seed

pods

pods

pod, detail

pod, detail

A, pod; B, one-seeded fruit segment; C, seed; D, longitudinal section of seed showing embryo; E, transection of seed; drawing by Lynda E. Chandler

A, pod; B, one-seeded fruit segment; C, seed; D, longitudinal section of seed showing embryo; E, transection of seed; drawing by Lynda E. Chandler