The Mesquite is one of the signature native plants of Southwestern USA, Mexico and South America. These tough and drought adapted trees and shrubs, and several species and cultivars have been introduced into ornamental landscapes in desert communities for many years where they are appreciated for their shade and adaptability to harsh and arid conditions. Increasingly, they are becoming a successful tree in the Inland Empire where they are also proving to be well adapted.
Mesquite trees grow best in warm and sunny locations throughout the Inland Empire. They are fast growing deciduous trees with deep green foliage and a broad canopy structure. Noticeable creamy-yellow flowers occur in mid spring. Growth 20-25 ft. tall and 30 ft. wide is common; many species have very spiny stems and branches. Nurseries currently offer two thornless cultivars that are widely recommended: Prosopis glandulosa ‘Maverick’ and Prosopis x ‘Phoenix’. Both of these cultivars become good shade trees in residential gardens where they grow well with low amounts of summer irrigation; too much water can lead to excessive growth and weak branching.