Plant family: Fabaceae - Pea
Plant type: Tree
Plant origin: N/A, California
Creosote Bush Scrub, Desert
Clay, Decomposed Granite, Sand, Adaptable, Alkaline
Attracts Wildlife, Edible , Important to Native People, Salt Tolerant, Tolerant of Clay Soil
Honey mesquite is a shrub or small tree depending on its situation. It can form a low 5' dense shrub in very arid conditions or grow to a taller 20' tree in ideal conditions where the long tap root can reach the water table. It grows naturally in arid, desert areas in sandy washes. The yellow flowers stand out against its green feathery foliage, but do be aware of the thorny spines. Honey mesquite has long been prized by animals and humans alike for the abundant long seed pods, which can be eaten fresh or ground into a highly nutritious flour. This mesquite will tolerate many types of soil; clay, sand, D.G. or alkaline and is fast growing when the roots find water. Honey mesquite provides very valuable habitat to mammals and birds and is an important food source for native bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Plant away from pathways due to the thorns. Prune in winter if you wish to shape to form a single trunk tree.
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