Prosopis denudans

Name and classification

Prosopis denudans Benth.
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae

NOTE: Only nine seeds of Prosopis denudans 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-oblong, falcate to annular, 2–8(11) cm long, 7–14 mm wide, 5–6 mm thick. Short-stipitate, apex rounded, mucronate, or acute, margins straight. Glabrous or puberulous, smooth, reddish-black, glossy when ripe, often cracking with age. Seed chambers sometimes visible, 10–20. Endocarp segments subquadrate, boney, closed, 6–8 mm long and wide, 4–6 mm thick; mesocarp pulpy-fibrous. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds obovate to asymmetrically obovate or elliptic in outline, 4–7 mm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, 1.75–3 mm thick, umbo absent, elliptic in cross section. Pleurogram average in size. Lens convex, recessed.

Identification considerations

Pods are fairly distinctive in the genus.

Similar species

Prosopis denudans var. patagonica (Speg.) Burkart (Pod is similar.) (non-FNW)

Prosopis denudans var. stenocarpa Burkart (pod). [No image available.] (Pods falcate to annular, 5 mm in diameter, constricted between seed chambers, endocarp segments elongate, oblong.)

Prosopis ruizlealii Burkart

Distribution

Argentina

Habitat

semidesert shrub steppe with very cold winters

General information

Prosopis denudans is a spiny shrub, 1–2 m tall. It is an extreme xerophyte, and is also the most frost hardy in the genus, growing at its southernmost limits. The wood is used for fuel. Seeds are dispersed by livestock that eat the pods.

Seeds

Seeds

lens and hilum of seed

lens and hilum of seed

pods

pods

pod

pod

pod

pod

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

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