Thornless Chilean Mesquite
Thornless Chilean Mesquite
Prosopis chilensisItem #6684 USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 11
A heat-loving, drought tolerant tree with an open, airy, crown. Refined foliage and stems have a purple cast when young. An excellent specimen for a dry rock garden or waterwise landscape, or adjacent to patios or pathways in need of light shade. Planted in groups, the canopy filters harsh sunlight to reduce heat and glare. Semi-evergreen.
- OverviewLight Needs:Full sunWatering Needs:Once established, water deeply, occasionally; more in extreme heat.Average Landscape Size:Moderate growing; reaches 30 ft. tall and wide with age.
- DetailBotanical Pronunciation:pro-SO-pis chil-EN-sisPlant type:TreeDeciduous/evergreen:Semi-evergreenGrowth habit:SpreadingGrowth rate:ModerateAverage landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 30 ft. tall and wide with age.Foliage color:GreenBlooms:Inconspicuous; prized for foliage.Flower color:GreenDesign IdeasFew trees can rival this Mesquite for its light filtered shade. A great native of the Southwest that should be planted as groves to render patios and porches less vulnerable to oppressive heat. Plant in natural groupings for best results, or as a single specimen for front yard or beside a back patio. Keep away from pools because litter is a problem. The perfect tree for Santa Fe-style or drought-resistant gardens with a decidedly tropical flare. Particularly well adapted to Western native landscapes.Companion PlantsTexas Ranger (Leucophyllum); Passion Flower (Passiflora); Yucca (Yucca); Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea); Ground Morning Glory (Convolvulus)
- CareCare InformationThrives in lean, fast-draining soils. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once established, water only occasionally, as needed to encourage vigor; over-watering causes structurally weak wood. Fertilize lightly when new growth begins in spring.Pruning time: winter.Light Needs:Full sunWatering Needs:Once established, water deeply, occasionally; more in extreme heat.
- History & LoreHistory:Despite the fact that it is closely related to the mesquite of the desert Southwest, it is in fact an import from Chile where the climate is the mirror image in the Southern Hemisphere. These thornless trees fall into the pea family and like many legumes they are also nitrogen fixers. Its genus was given by the 19th century botanist, Dr. John Torrey, who classified it in his 1838 work, Flora of North America, which was co-authored with Asa Gray. Native Americans throughout its range used the trees for food fiber and implements. The Chilean mesquite has been widely planted in the Southwest and readily cross pollinates with the native species. Many spontaneous hybrids have appeared naturally which display qualities of both ancestors.Lore:Genus Prosopis includes the famous trees of the American Southwest that produce nutritious pods vital to the material culture of many Native American tribes within its range.