Any of the small deciduous mesquite trees (such as Prosopis glandulosa) native to semiarid regions of the southwestern United States and Mexico. Mesquite trees are fast growing and their wood has been used for furniture, implements, and firewood. Mesquite gum, the resinous exudation of these trees, has been used as a thermoplastic adhesive and sealant in native clay pots. Tannins in the mesquite wood were also extracted for processing Leather.
Synonyms and Related Terms
mesquite gum; algaroba; algarroba; honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa); Prosopis julifora; velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina); Mesquiten (Deut.);
Physical and Chemical Properties
- Short trees growing to 6-9 m.
- Bark = red-brown with vertical shreds
- Leaves = alternate bipinnate with two major leaflets.
- Flower = small yellow spikes in clusters of 2 to 6 in late spring
- Fruit = edible light brown pods ripening in late summer
Resources and Citations
- R.S.Felger, M.B.Moser "People of the Desert and Sea: Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians", the University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1985.
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 463
- John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994
- Virginia Tech Dendrology website at www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/main.htm (accessed Oct. 8, 2005)
- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesquite (Accessed Oct. 8, 2005)
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976