Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Prosopis glandulosa Torr.

Prosopis glandulosa


Family: Fabaceae
Full name: Prosopis glandulosa Torr.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Suidwesdoring, Muskietboom, Muskiet, Soetpeul, Peulboom
English common name(s): Honey mesquite, Mesquite, Honey locust
Synonym(s): Prosopis glandulosa Torr. var. glandulosa
Prosopis juliflora auct. (*)
Prosopis chilensis auct. (*)
Status: Alien
Description: Honey mesquite has a rounded crown and crooked, drooping branches with feathery foliage and straight, paired spines on twigs. This tree normally reaches 20–30 ft (6.1–9.1 m) but can grow as tall as 50 ft (15 m). It is considered to have a medium growth rate. Honey mesquite coppices due to latent buds underground, making permanent removal difficult. (from Wikepedia)

Mesquite has spiny branches and leaves with 7-18 sets of paired leaflets. Its seed pod resembles the common pea or bean, 10-30 cm long and 5-10 mm diameter. The flower is a yellow inflorescence with many spikes. Hybridization is common and the taxonomy of mesquite is difficult (Hilu et al. 1982). Genetic variability is high with good potential for selection of individuals and ecotypes and plant breeding. The trees are self-fertile. (from

Honey mesquite is a deciduous, thorny shrub or small tree exhibiting a high degree of variation in growth form. The three most common forms are: 1) a single-stemmed tree reaching 20 to 40 feet (6-12 m) in height, with crooked, drooping branches, 2) an erect, multiple-stemmed bush or small tree, often 10 to 15 feet (3-4.6 m) tall, and 3) a decumbent or running bush found on deep sandy soils [64,125,130]. The largest trees are often found along water courses or floodplains where the deep root system has access to year-round water [115]. All mesquites have a strong tendency for apical dominance and a well-developed crown [129]. Undisturbed trees therefore develop into single-stemmed trees. If the aboveground growth is damaged or removed, such as by freezing weather, drought, fire, trampling, browsing, cutting, or herbicide treatment, dormant buds located on the underground stem initiate new growth, resulting in the many-stemmed growth form [61]. On the Rolling Plains of north-central Texas, 27 year-old plants within a fenced exclosure ranged from 0.7 to 4.9 feet (0.2-1.5 m) tall [155]. Thus small plants that are decades old may be mistaken for seedlings. Thorns may be 1 to over 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) long and generally occur singly on young branches [75]. The flowers are in a raceme [178]. The flattened, straight, or curved legume-type pods are 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm) long and occur in drooping clusters [178]. The seeds are oval, 0.2 inch (5 mm) wide, 0.28 inch (7 mm) long, and 0.08 inch (2 mm) thick [125]. Honey mesquite's root system is well adapted to dry climates (during and shortly after seedling establishment, the rate of root growth exceeds that of shoot growth [163]). Honey mesquite is a facultative phreatophyte which extracts moisture from a large volume of soil through a well-developed root system [8,81,171]. Honey mesquite's taproot commonly reaches depths of 40 feet (12 m) when subsurface water is available [63], though a taproot 190 feet (58 m) deep has been observed [163]. In areas where the soil is shallow, where water does not penetrate deeply, or where a distinct calcium carbonate layer is present, the taproot seldom extends more than 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m), and an extensive system of lateral roots often extends up to 60 feet (18 m) away from the plant base [9,43,64,81,163]. Lateral roots of a 19.7 foot (6 m) tall honey mesquite tree excavated on the Rolling Plains of north-central Texas were concentrated in the upper 1 foot (0.3 m) of the soil profile [81]. Similarly, Sosebee and Dahl [162] reported that most active lateral roots are in the upper 2.5 feet (0.75 m) of soil. Sprouting from lateral roots is common [81]. These adaptations allow honey mesquite to retain most leaves in all but the most severe droughts. (from
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 30 Sep 2006
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/3.5
Shutter speed: 1/60 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 03 Oct 2022

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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