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Mesquite, Screwbean, 5 gallon
Screwbean Mesquite

Mesquite, Screwbean, 5 gallon

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Your Price: $50.00
The Screwbean Mesquite is the native mesquite tree with the distinctive twisted seed pod.

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Item#: ND-Mes-SB
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Special Note = Desert Trees do not need starter amendments.

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Mesquite is the most common shrub/small tree of the desert southwest. Like many members of the legume family (called Fabaceae these days), mesquite restores nitrogen to the soil. There are 3 common species of NATIV mesquite: honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens ) and velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina).

They typically grow to 10 to 15 feet in height, although the honey and velvet mesquites may reach 30 to 60 feet in especially favorable settings. They may have single or multiple-branched stems, with each plant assuming its own distinctive shape. They come armed with thorns on the smaller branches. They shed their leaves in the winter. They bloom from spring into summer, bearing small frothy-looking clusters – called “catkins” – of tiny, five-petal, pale green or yellowish flowers, which lure numerous pollinating insects. They produce pods that contain hard and long-lasting seeds that must be scarified (cut or slit) before they will germinate. Mesquites have lateral roots that extend far beyond the canopies of the plants and taproots that penetrate well below the surface of the soil. Some mesquites may live for more than two centuries according to Thomas B. Wilson, Robert H. Webb and Thomas L. Thompson, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-8.

Most notably, mesquites’ root systems give the plants a competitive botanical edge in the desert landscape. As hosts to nitrogen-fixing bacteria, they help enrich otherwise impoverished desert soils in which the plants and their progeny grow. In lateral reach, they out-compete other plants in the battle for soil moisture. In their taproots’ downward reach, they find subsurface water, sometimes 150 to perhaps 200 feet below the surface. According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Internet site, “The mesquite’s root system is the deepest documented; a live root was discovered in a copper mine over 160 feet (50 meters) below the surface.”

The Screwbean Mesquite is the a native mesquite tree in the Southwest Desert. From the natural habitat of desert, plains, stream banks, and arroyos this species has been distributed to Los Angeles, Oklahoma, South California and Northern Mexico.
Cultivation Notes: Stems are armed with many thorns; conspicuous flowers occur in spring and are followed by a unique spiral-shaped bean pod. 
Ethnobotany:  The screwbean mesquite is multi-trunked with invasive roots and is slow growing. Training is needed to care for the messy tree. The vase-shaped canopy provides light filtered shade good for walk ways and patios minus the mess.
(University of Arizona)

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