Prosopis hassleri

Name and classification

Prosopis hassleri Harms
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae

NOTE: Only one seed of Prosopis hassleri was 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, straight to falcate; compressed, 14–24 cm long, 12–15 mm wide, ca. 4 mm thick. Stipitate, apex acuminate to caudate with beak 6–10 mm long, margins straight to slightly undulate. Smooth, straw-yellow, with faint, mostly parallel longitudinal ridges; seed chambers 24–33, sometimes umbonate. Endocarp segments boney, closed, subquadrate or rectangular, broader than long, 4–6.5 mm long, 10–14 mm wide, 3–5 mm thick; mesocarp pulpy, sweet. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds asymmetrically obovate to oblong in outline, 5–7 mm long, 2.5–3.5 mm wide, 2–2.5 mm thick, with an umbo, elliptic in cross section. Pleurogram slightly wide. Lens a light-colored mound.

Identification considerations

Similar species

Prosopis fiebrigii Harms (Seeds and pods are similar.)

Prosopis alba Griseb. or P. alba Griseb. var. panta [No pod available] (non-FNW)

Distribution

Argentina, Paraguay

Habitat

forms open, savanna-type woods

General information

Prosopis humilis is a nearly leafless, spiny, erect to prostrate subshrub, 20–40 cm high. Its peculiar prostrate habit is an oddity. The mesocarp is thin and dry; pods break up into one-seeded segments.

seed

seed

lens and funiculus remnant of seed

lens and funiculus remnant of seed

pods

pods

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