Prosopis velutina

Common Name: Velvet Mesquite
Oˊodham Names: Kui  Audio     Bean: Wihog  Audio    Sap: Usabĭ  Audio
Group: Trees - Desert

Prosopis velutina is a small tree to 30 feet tall and wide that grows in sandy flats and alluvial fans at 1000 to almost 5000 ft elevation. Its deep tap root assures that it produces flowers and fruit in all but the driest years. Bees produce excellent honey from the flowers. The 8 inch long seed pods appear in May and are ground into a high-protein flour named "Pinole", after they dry during June. Its richly textured wood is used for construction and is burned for cooking.
Mesquite pods (wihog) are a good source of calcium, manganese, iron and zinc. The seeds inside the wihog are 40 percent protein almost double the protein content of common legumes. A 100 gram portion of the fresh pod material contains 12.4 percent water, 6.7 grams protein, 1.5 grams fat, 47.9 grams carbohydrates, 33.1 grams fiber and 232 calories [ 1 ].  Mesquite flour made from grinding the wihog produces fructose—a type of sugar which can be processed without insulin. They also contain soluble fibers which slowly absorption of sugars and prevents a rapid rise in blood sugar.

entire plant
stem with spines
pinnate leaves
young fruit

Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae - Pea family
Genus Prosopis L. - mesquite
Species Prosopis velutina Woot. - velvet mesquite
More Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map
  1. Greenhouse, R. 1979. The iron and calcium content of some traditional Pima foods and the effects of preparation methods. M.S. thesis, Arizona State University, Tempe.

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