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Prosopis caldenia, a species of central Argentina.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Tribe: Mimoseae
Genus: Prosopis

See text.

Prosopis is a genus of about 45 species of leguminous spiny trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, Africa and southwest Asia. They often thrive in arid soil and are resistant to droughts, on occasion developing extremely deep root systems. Their wood is usually hard, dense and durable. Their fruits are pods and may contain large amounts of sugar.



Some of the species in this genus are:

  • Mesquite species (southern United States, Mexico):
    • Prosopis glandulosa (Honey Mesquite)
    • Prosopis pallida
    • Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite)
    • Prosopis reptans (Tornillo)
    • Prosopis strombulifera (Creeping Mesquite)
    • Prosopis velutina (Velvet Mesquite)
  • South American species (algarrobos of the Gran Chaco and others):
    • Prosopis affinis (Ñandubay)
    • Prosopis alba (Algarrobo blanco)
      • Prosopis alba var. panta (Algarrobo panta)
    • Prosopis caldenia (Caldén)
    • Prosopis chilensis (Algarrobo chileno)
    • Prosopis fiebrigii
    • Prosopis flexuosa (Alpataco)
    • Prosopis hassleri
    • Prosopis juliflora
    • Prosopis kuntzei (Itín)
    • Prosopis nigra (Algarrobo negro)
    • Prosopis rojasiana
    • Prosopis ruscifolia (Vinal)
    • Prosopis tamarugo (Tamarugo)
  • African species
    • Prosopis africana
  • Asian species (India (mainly Rajasthan), Syria, Iraq):
  • Uncategorized species


Prosopis has been found to contain 5-hydroxytryptamine, apigenin, isorhamnetin-3-diglucoside, l-arabinose, quercetin, tannin and tryptamine.[1]

Prosopis Species Known to Contain Alkaloids
Prosopis alba Beta-phenethylamine and tryptamine[2]
Prosopis alpataco "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[3]
Prosopis argentina "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[3]
Prosopis chilensis "Aerial parts" contain beta-phenethylamine and derivatives plus tryptamine[3][4]
Prosopis argentina Exudate contains tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[3]
Prosopis glandulosa Alkaloids in bark and roots,[5] tyramine and N-methyltyramine (a stimulant) in leaves[6]
Prosopis juliflora 5-HTP (plant) and tryptamine (plant).[7]
Prosopis nigra Harmala[8]
Prosopis pugionata "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[3]
Prosopis tamarugo Phenethylamine[4]




  1. ^ Medicinal Plants of the Southwest
  2. ^ Graziano MN, Ferraro GE, Coussio JD., Alkaloids of Argentine medicinal plants. II.
  3. ^ a b c d e Alejandro Tapiaa, Gabriela Egly Feresina, Daniel Bustosa, Luis Astudillo, Cristina Theoduloz, Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann Biologically active alkaloids and a free radical scavenger from Prosopis species, Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 71, Issue 1-2, pp. 241 - 246, July, 2000
  4. ^ a b Proximate composition and biological activity of Chilean Prosopis species, Luis Astudillo, Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann, Juan P Herrera, Manuel Cortés
  5. ^ MPSW
  6. ^ Purdue University
  7. ^ Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
  8. ^ (Swedish)

General References

  • Paciecznik, N. M., Harris P. J. C., & S. J. Smith. 2003. Identifying Tropical Prosopis Species: A Field Guide. HDRA, Coventry, UK. ISBN 0-905343-34-4.
  • Handbook on taxonomy of Prosopis in Mexico, Peru and Chile (FAO Document Repository)
  • Plant Walk I: Old Main (website of the Vascular Plant Herbarium of the University of Arizona in Tucson)
  • Plant Walk 1 UofA
  • Plant Walk 2 UofA

See also

  • Arabian Desert and East Sahero-Arabian xeric shrublands
  • Northwestern thorn scrub forests
  • Invasive species in Australia
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Prosopis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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