Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
The bean, legume, or pea family is a diverse, cosmopolitan group with many culturally and economically important members. It is the third largest plant family in existence with nearly 20,000 named species described. These flowering dicots may be trees, shrubs or herbs and exist everywhere worldwide save the icy poles. They are characterized by their elongated, many-seeded fruits (legumes) that open via longitudinal sutures. Most Fabaceae form root nodules containing symbiotic bacteria that fix atmospheric...
David L. Morgan
An excellent choice for desert gardens, this shrubby, spiny tree hails from arid regions of Arizona, northern Mexico, and West Texas. It has a gnarled densely branched habit and often develops multiple trunks and a broad crown. From the twisted twigs hang feathery blue-green leaves with numerous narrow leaflets.
Mesquite bears clusters of tiny, fluffy, honey-rich, yellow flowers in spring, followed by large tan pods. Native Americans harvested the pods for a nutritious staple. They also valued...
Audrey, Eve and George DeLange
(Mesquite, Velvet Mesquite)
Native to arid regions of southern Arizona and northern Mexico, this shrubby deciduous tree forms a dense low crown of wickedly spiny branches. Cultivated plants are sometimes limbed up to expose their trunks.
This relatively cold-hardy desert native bears feathery blue green leaves on its spreading to arching branches. Fluffy clusters of tiny yellow sweet-scented flowers appear in spring, attracting honeybees and other pollinators. The edible fruits are large tan pods containing protein-rich...