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How to chose a prosopis (mesquite)??  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 1580
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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When you live in north America with some original mesquite plants, I understand that it is not wise to plant the chilean mesquite!
But what would happen?
And why some people plant the exotic one in a place where they have access to the local one?
What is the tempting quality of the "foreigner"?

Could we gather in this topic the pros and cons, the necessities for each variety to thrive, qualities and drawbacks... ?
 
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Xisca:

I live in a place (Phoenix, AZ) that has several types of native mesquite (prosopis). One reason people will plant the Chilean over the natives is because all the natives have thorns and the Chilean do not. However, the mesquite beans from our natives such as Velvet Mesquite and Screwbean Mesquite are much tastier than the Chilean. All over Arizona and some other states too, we harvest the pods from our natives and have them ground into flour. The flour is the consistency of medium cornmeal and has a sweet taste to it.

Another reason NOT to plant the Chilean locally is that it is prone to "wind blow" - which means in some of our monsoon winds, you see them toppled over.

Check out this page for more on mesquite as food for humans: http://www.desertharvesters.org/
 
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Jennifer. I'd like to ask you, what is the highest elevation you've seen mesquite? In the past, I've collected seeds from mesquite near Phoenix, but discovered my stock wouldn't survive my winter chill at 5000 feet. I'd be willing to try again, if I could find seedstock that survives below freezing weather. Are you aware of any mountain patches of mequite that have already been selected for cold resistance? BTW, although my thermometer records seem to indicate my location is physically zone 7B/8A, the plants here seem to behave more like I'm at zone 6/7.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Michael - I'm not sure the highest level I've seen mesquite at. Are you looking specifically for a mesquite tree or are you looking for some "high and dry" nitrogen fixing trees? If the latter, check out the Desert Legume Project out of U of A (Tucson). These folks collect and trial dryland legumes from all over the world in their test fields near Tucson. Tucson is both higher (2000-2500 ft) and colder than Phoenix but not as cold as 5000 ft.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Thanks Jennifer for these details as I did not know this!
I do not mind spines, they can have some use...

I would like a mesquite that does not require very hot temperatures, as I am near the ocean.
We had a summer at 28-30ºC!
It never freezes, even far from it, but desert temps happen very little.
Very different from Michael requirements...

My only common point that makes me interested is that I have 400mm/year, and no rain at all during months.

Edit:
What is the difference between Prosopis velutina and Prosopis Juliflora?

The Foothills Palo Verde (Cercidium microphyllum) seems less known and also very interresting!

Still the same, I have little water but not big heats!
Yes, trying, trying... that is what I do with 3 little baby saguaro....
 
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