Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Prosopis pubescens

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Species Name: Prosopis pubescens
Common Name: Screwbean Mesquite

Summer blooming small tree with yellow flowers. Fruit used as a coffee substitute. Recommended as specimen tree. Spines are good for informal barrier.

Plant Family: Fabaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 10-25' H x 20' W
Growth Habit: Upright, multi-branching
Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter deciduous
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Yellow
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: San Bernardino Mtns, Deserts
Natural Habitat: Creek bottoms, sandy gravelly washes, ravines from 300-4000'

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History
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: Deciduous shrub or small tree with rather slender twigs bearing stout sharp spines. Flowers greenish yellow in spikes 2 to 3 inches long followed by pods curiously coiled into straight cylindrical bodies 1 to 2 inches in length resembling a screw. Indigenous to the desert regions and valuable for planting under similar conditions. Gallon cans, 50c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75."
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