Prosopis glandulosa

Honey Mesquite - Prosopis glandulosa 
Ready Pay Gulch
East of Hillsboro
New Mexico, USA
August 2014

On a walk in August 2014, up the northeast fork of Ready Pay Gulch, east of Hillsboro, New Mexico I found a number of Honey Mesquite plants.  It looked to be a good year for mesquite beans.  

The range of the Honey Mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa, extends over much of southern North America, as far south as the border of Guatemala in Mexico and as far north as the southern borders of Utah and Oklahoma in the United States.  In the United States its range reaches eastern Texas to the east and southern California to the west.

A variety of animals eat the seed pods of this species; including Collared Peccaries (known as Javelinas, locally), Coyote, Deer, Humans, and various Jackrabbit species.  The pods are sweet to the taste.  Humans typically grind them into a flour which is used in a variety of ways.  It was such an important food source for the Seri people of northwestern Mexico that they had names for the different stages of pod growth.  Many Americans know Mesquite simply as the wood that produces that marvelous flavor in barbecued foods.

Rattlesnake Mine, East of Hillsboro, New Mexico
May 14, 2020

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023