Prosopis juliflora

Scientific nameProsopis juliflora
Fabaceae; subfamily: Mimosaceae
English: algorroba, ironwood, mesquite
Philippines: aroma
Evergreen shrub or tree with thorns/spines, multi-stemmed but occasionally single stemmed [3–5 (15) m high], twigs distinctively zigzag.
Bark: Thick, rough grey-green, scaly with age and armed with sharp thorns/spines (up to 5 cm long).
Leaves: Dark green, hairless or hairy, twice-divided, 1–3 (–4) pairs of leaf branchlets (3–11 cm long) each with 11–15 pairs of leaflets, narrow, somewhat elongated with parallel sides (6–23 mm long and 1.6–5.5 mm wide), with smooth margins, no terminal leaflet, leaves grow alternately on stem. Flowers: Yellow, small, in cylindrical spikes (5–10 cm long and 1.5 cm side), solitary or in clusters near the leaf axils, fragrant.
Fruits: Pods (several seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning yellow as they mature, flat, slightly curved (8–29 cm long and 9–17 mm wide), containing 10–20 oval seeds (2–8 mm long).
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.
Fuelwood, timber, fodder, tannin, landscape restoration, windbreaks, shade, hedge/barrier and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed land, wastelands, fallow land, drainage ditches, woodland edges/gaps, savannah, riparian vegetation, floodplains, gullies and sandy stream beds.
Displaces native plant species and reduces the abundance and diversity of bird and other animal species. In Ethiopia, P. juliflora has reduced understorey basal cover for perennial grasses and reduced the number of grass species from seven to two (Kebede and Coppock, 2015). By transforming habitats and eliminating pasture species, it threatens the survival of Grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) in invaded areas (Kebede and Coppock, 2015). Other negative impacts include encroachment onto paths, villages, homes, water sources, crop- and pasturelands; and injuries inflicted by the thorns (Maundu et al., 2009). Infestations have contributed to the abandonment of agricultural land, homes and small villages. The pollen has been identified as a major allergen (Killian and McMichael, 2004). In semi-arid parts of Africa, P. juliflora has depleted the natural resources on which thousands of people depend, spawning conflict between communities over the diminishing resources.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 24 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/14/2019 23:40