Plant of the Month – July

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Honey Mesquite should be called the “giving tree” for its abundant gifts to wildlife, humans, the soil, and the environment. Its nutritious seed pods have fed wildlife and people for millennia, its bacterial root partners add essential nitrogen to the soil, its branches provide habitat to countless animals, and its pollen is made into delicious honey by bees.

Honey Mesquite

Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana

 

  • Plant Form: Deciduous tree, shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 15-25 ft. tall & wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May), Summer (June-Aug)
  • Native to: California, SW United States, Mexico (between 0 – 5,600 feet)
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F

Honey Mesquite is a graceful, winter-deciduous tree/shrub with multiple trunks and feathery leaves that provide cool, filtered shade from spring to fall. Yellow catkin-like flowers in spring produce nutritious, tan, pea-like seed pods in late summer that have been made into sweet flour and cakes for millennia. Bees make delicious honey from the flowers, and bacterial root partners fix nitrogen, enriching the surrounding soil. Stems develop long, paired thorns, especially on young branches. Water deeply and widely under the outermost branch tips to encourage a deep, extensive root system that can secure trees in strong winds. With its broad, rounded, weeping habit, this architectural tree is worthy as a focal point in both high and low desert gardens. Use in natural groupings to shade and cool patios and porches, or as a specimen tree.

Check out our  “Garden Tasks” for July