Prosopis reptans Benth. var. reptans
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae
NOTE: Only four seeds of Prosopis reptans were available for examination. Therefore, the description and images in this fact sheet may not be representative of this species’ seeds.
Pods tightly coiled (like a corkscrew) into a cylinder, several of which radiate from the receptacle in a cluster; each cylinder composed of 9–19 coils each 2–4 mm thick, cylinders straight or slightly curved, 2.5–5 cm long, 5–8 mm in diameter. Margins nonundulate. Smooth, puberulent when young, lemon-yellow when ripe; seed chambers not visible. Mesocarp reddish, pulpy, tannic; endocarp easily disintegrates. Seeds oriented longitudinally.
Prosopis reptans var. cinerascens (Gray) Burkart (Pods have 9–12 coils.) (non-FNW)
Argentina, Peru (rare)
Prosopis reptans var. reptans is a low, spiny shrub up to 1 m tall, with underground runners that invade the soil. Its seeds are tightly held in the pods. The two varieties, var. reptans and var. cinerascens, are very closely related morphologically, but helpfully, differ in their geographical distributions; var. cinerascens is found only in Texas and adjoining Mexico.