Prosopis pubescens   
  Screwbean mesquite   
Fabaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


curly seed pods
characteristic seed pods of
Prosopis pubescens
Form: single or multistemmed small tree or shrub; vase shaped, open and spreading
Seasonality: deciduous
Size: to 25-40ft with equal spread
Leaves: bipinnately compound, lacy
Flowers: 1-2in pendulous yellow spikes; bloom in May & June
Fruit: corkscrew-curled bean pods develop through the summer
Stems/Trunks: sharp spines; dark bark on trunk and older limbs, bark sheds in long stringy pieces
Range/Origin: riparian areas of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts
Hardiness: thought to be to 10-15°F


Screwbean mesquite Screwbean mesquite flowers
Prosopis pubescens close-up of blooms


Research by Master Gardener Devona Painter


also known as "Tornillo"
Great choice as a natural trellis for climbing vines.
Also a good nurse tree for sun-sensitive small specimen cacti.

thorns on Screwbean mesquite tree
tree bark & branch
detail of peeling bark

return to common name index  Master Gardener Home Page return to Botanical name index
browse by
common name
browse by
botanical name

This page was first created March 27, 2004 and last modified February 10, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
email to:

© 2004 - 2006 Arizona Board of Regents. All contents copyrighted. All rights reserved.