Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid, depending on water.
Mature Size: 30' high and 35' wide.
Flowers: Yellow, bottle brush shaped, fragrant.
Bloom: Spring or summer.
Fruit: Seed pod, light tan, flattened or cylindrical,
straight to slightly curved on tree, constricted around
seeds. Pods and seeds are edible, usually ground into flour.
Leaves: Bright green, compound leaflets, linear,
up to 2" long. Provides medium to dense shade.
Stems: Spines up to 2" long in the wild. Nurseries often sell
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*, large deep taproot, aggressive.
Wildlife: Flowers attract bees and butterflies, seedpods
attract birds and mammals including cattle. Larval host
to some species of butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: Sharp spines on some specimens.
Origin: Mexico, southwestern United States, Missouri and Louisiana.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 6-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water after becoming established: Deeply, every two months
Always water past the drip line of the tree and away from
the trunk to encourage lateral root development. Water encourages
crown growth and mesquites without sufficiently wide roots can be
blown over by strong winds.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content,
pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: Wait two years after planting to prune honey mesquite
trees to give them time to become established. Prune in the summer
months. Thin the canopy by removing branches that rub against or
cross each other inside the bulk of the tree. Cut branches that
are growing in conflicting directions. Remove dead, damaged or
diseased limbs. Raise the canopy by trimming off the lower branches,
especially those that are growing in a downward direction.
Remove any shoots growing from roots, along with weeds.
Propagation: Scarified seed.
Uses: Ornamental, shade, edible seedpods.
'Maverick' is a well known thornless cultivar.
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