Prosopis elata

Name and classification

Prosopis elata (Burkart) Burkart
(=P. campestris var. elata)
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae

NOTE: Only four seeds of Prosopis elata 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, mostly straight, 6–11 cm long, 6–8 mm wide, ca. 3 mm thick. Short-stipitate, apex acuminate, margins undulate, sutures prominent, ridge-like. Yellowish- to greenish-brown, sometimes tinged with violet, longitudinal striate veins relatively distinct; seed chambers (articles) 10–14, with transverse constrictions visible between them. Endocarp segments quadrate or transversely rectangular, boney, closed, 6–8 mm long, 7–8 mm wide, 3–4.5 mm thick; mesocarp scarce, fleshy, acid. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds elliptic, obovate, or subrhombic in outline, 4.5–6 mm long, 3.2–4 mm wide, 1.7–2.5 mm thick, flattened along the edges, with an umbo, elliptic to spindle shaped in cross section. Lens +/– flush, dark, nearly same color as testa.

Identification considerations

Similar species

Prosopis campestris Griseb. (Pod is similar.)

Prosopis humilis Gillies ex Hook. & Arn. (Pod is similar.)

Distribution

Argentina, Paraguay

Habitat

forms open woods of the savanna type

General information

Prosopis elata is a spiny shrub, 0.6–4 m tall. The pods are inedible due to their acidity. The seeds are thus most likely not dispersed by animals.

seeds

seeds

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