Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zones 10-13, 18-24
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Prosopis velutina

Arizona Mesquite
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 velutina

Native from southeastern Arizona into Mexico and West Texas. Resembles P. glandulosa, which reaches 30 ft. high and wide, but P. velutina may be smaller and shrubbier when grown in poor, dry conditions. Common in Arizona.

You Might Also Like...

Berlandiera lyrata

Native to the northern Chihuahuan Desert, this rounded, somewhat coarse-foliaged plant grows to 1 1/2&...

Hyptis emoryi

Covered with woolly gray leaves to conserve moisture in its native Southwest deserts, this erect or sp...

Sidalcea neomexicana

Native from eastern Oregon to Wyoming, and south to Mexico. Grows to 3 ft. tall and 1–1 1/2 ft. ...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More