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Prosopis pallida - (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Kunth

Common Name Algaroba
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry coastlines, often dominating in arid, saline soils[414 ].
Range S. America - Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Prosopis pallida Algaroba


Wikimedia.org - Forest & Kim Starr
Prosopis pallida Algaroba
Wikimedia.org - Eric Guinther

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Prosopis pallida is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Acacia pallida Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. Mimosa pallida (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Poir. Prosopis limensis Benth.

Habitats

Edible Uses

The seedpods can be added to soups and corn meal; or made into a sweet syrup and used to prepare various drinks[418 ]. Staple Crop: balanced Carb.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The seedpods are used in the treatment of dysentery[414 ].

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is suitable for reforestation of hot dry areas where the soil is highly saline[418 ]. The tree is grown as a cover for the soil and shifting sand dunes in order to prevent erosion[414 ]. Other Uses: The bark is a source of tannins[414 , 418 ]. A gum exuding from the trunk can be used in glue and vanish[414 , 418 ]. The heartwood is dark reddish-brown, the sapwood light yellow[414 ]. The wood is dense, strong, relatively easy to work, durable but susceptible to termite attack[414 ]. It is used for crossties, piling, rural carpentry, vehicle parts, furniture, fence posts etc[418 ]. The wood can be used for fuel and for making charcoal[418 ]. Industrial Crop: Biomass. Fodder: Pod.

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Fodder: Pod  Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Minor Global Crop  Other Systems: SRC  Staple Crop: Balanced carb

A plant of drier areas in the tropics and subtropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 300 metres[418 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 19 - 32°c[418 ]. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -2°c or lower, but new growth can be killed at -1°c [418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 250 - 1,250mm[418 ]. Requires a sunny position. Succeeds in a range of well-drained soils, including saline soils[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6, tolerating 5 - 6.7[418 ]. Established plants have deep tap roots and are very drought tolerant[305 , 418 ]. The tree can form dense thickets. It is a prolific producer of seed, which can be dispersed by water, in mud adhering to animals, boots etc, and by being eaten and defecated[305 ]. It has escaped from cultivation in many areas and can become an invasive and troublesome weed[305 , 418 ]. Plants grow quite slowly when young, to around 1 metre annually[414 ]. Plants are very fast to mature, able to flower and fruit within two years of sowing the seed[418 ]. Trees can be coppiced[414 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Suckers Layering

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

English: mesquite; prosopis. Spanish: algarrobo. Local Common Names: Brazil: algarobeira. Cape Verde: espinheiro; spinho. Colombia: algarrobo; algarrobo forragero; anchipia guaiva; aroma; cuji; cuji negro; cuji yaque; manca-caballo; mesquite; trupi; trupillo. Djibouti: garawa. Ecuador: algarrobo. French Polynesia: carobier. Peru: guarango; huarango; taco; thacco. USA/Hawaii: algaroba; kiawe; mesquite.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Bolivia, Central America, Colombia, East Timor, Ecuador, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marquesas, Pacific, Peru, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, South America, Timor-Leste, USA

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

It has escaped from cultivation in many areas and can become an invasive and troublesome weed[305 , 418 ]. Algaroba (Prosopis pallida) is regarded as a significant environmental weed in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and as apotential environmental weed or "sleeper weed" in other parts of Australia. This species is actively managed by community groups in Queensland and the mesquites (Prosopis spp.), as a group, are also one of the 20 Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Prosopis africanaPau Carvão. Mesquite. Iron tree22
Prosopis albaWhite carob tree, Algarrobo blanco 22
Prosopis chilensisChilean algarrobo, Chilean mesquite20
Prosopis cinerariaJandi, Ghaf22
Prosopis glandulosaHoneypod mesquite. Glandular mesquite32
Prosopis julifloraMesquite, Honey Mesquite32
Prosopis tamarugoTamarugo10

 

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(Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Kunth

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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