Prosopis articulata

Name and classification

Prosopis articulata S. Watson
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae

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

Description

Pods linear, compressed, straight, subfalcate or variously twisted, 10–24 cm long, 5–8 mm wide, ca. 3 mm thick. Stipitate, apex caudate with beak ca. 5 mm long, margins strongly undulate to moniliform, isthmi 1–5 mm wide. Pericarp yellow or tinged with violet, veins are distinct striate or reticulate longitudinal ridges. Articles (seed chambers) number 5–18. Endocarp segments elliptic-fusiform, thin, flexible, smooth, whitish, 1–1.8 cm long, 5–8 mm wide, 2–3 mm thick; mesocarp dry, longitudinally fibrous, bitter. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds oblong to elliptic or obovate in outline, umbo absent, 5–8 mm long, 2.9–5 mm wide, 1.5–2.5 mm thick, elliptic in cross section. Pleurogram often with narrow border of noticeably lighter color than testa. Lens a light-colored mound.

Identification considerations

The flattened moniliform pods and rhombic, flexible endocarp segments are distinguishing features. Pod apices are often broken off.

Distribution

Mexico, United States: Arizona

Habitat

stony and sandy mesas or plains

General information

Prosopis articulata is a thorny shrub or small tree 2–15 m tall. Hybridization may occur with P. velutina Woot.

seeds

seeds

lens and funiculus remnant of seed

lens and funiculus remnant of seed

pods

pods

pod, detail

pod, detail

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