Prosopis sericantha

Name and classification

Prosopis sericantha Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae

NOTE: Only two seeds of Prosopis sericantha 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, straight, less often subfalcate, somewhat compressed, (5)7–14 cm long, 8–13 mm wide, 2–5 mm thick. Short-stipitate, apex mucronate, somewhat to distinctly constricted between endocarp segments, margins slightly undulate. Dark-colored, usually with longitudinal-reticulate veins; seed chambers ca. 5–16. Endocarp segments subquadrate, hard, closed, 6–7 mm long, 7–10 mm wide, 1.5–3.5 mm thick; mesocarp thin, pasty, bitter. Seeds oriented longitudinally.

Seeds obovate to broadly elliptic in outline, 4.2–6 mm long, 3.2–4.5 mm wide, 1.7–2.9 mm thick, umbo semi ridge-like, elliptic in cross section. Pleurogram somewhat short-armed, with fine striations radiating out from pleurogram to margins. Lens a dull mound.

Identification considerations

Similar species

Prosopis kuntzei Harms (Pod is similar.)

Distribution

Argentina, Paraguay

Habitat

arid areas

General information

Prosopis sericantha is a leafless, spiny shrub, 0.3–2.5 m tall. One- to several-seeded pod segments are the usual disseminule.

seeds

seeds

lens and hilum of seed

lens and hilum of seed

pods

pods

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

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