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Zones 10-13, 18-24
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Prosopis pubescens

Screw Bean
Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Deciduous, Shrubs, Trees


Native to deserts in the Southwest, Mexico, and South America. Though hardy in other environments, mesquites are most commonly grown in deserts, where they are among the toughest and most useful of trees. Much of their success in these harsh conditions is due to their roots, which will travel great distances to find water (a trait that will cause problems if plants tap into drainage or sewer lines). Once established, these plants are highly drought-tolerant, but quickly adapt to regular lawn watering. In poor, rocky soil and without additional water, mesquites are shrubby; in deep soil where roots can reach ground water, or where irrigation is generous, they grow rapidly to about 30 ft. tall, with a picturesque, spreading canopy approximately as wide as high.

Prosopis pubescens

Native to Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. The common name refers to the spirally twisted seedpods, which make an unusual and attractive addition to dried arrangements. This mesquite produces an open canopy of bluish green foliage. It is a naturally shrubby deciduous plant that is often used as a barrier planting, but it can be trained as a 30-ft. tree.

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