Chilean Mesquite
Prosopis chilensis

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Prosopis (PROS-oh-pis) (Info)
Species: chilensis (chil-ee-EN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Ceratonia chilensis

Category:

Trees

Height:

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

over 9.1 (very alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gilbert, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Fallbrook, California

Henderson, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Corpus Christi, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
2
neutrals
3
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 26, 2013, azjulieann from Mesa, AZ wrote:

I Love, Love, Love this Tree! I have the Thornless Variety of the Chilean Mesquite, and it is a Beauty! With it's Multiple Trunks, and Vast Canopy, it Provides a Beautiful, Shady Oasis in our Otherwise, Extremely HOT Backyard.

The Tree can be a Bit Messy, and Grows at an Exorbitant rate, so if you are not one that enjoys Yardwork, then this is probably Not the tree for you. This Tree Must be kept Thinned out, to allow wind to pass through its Expansive Branches. If you fail to ignore this important point, then the chances are high that you will lose your Beautiful Tree during Monsoon Season.

Negative

On Jul 29, 2010, RainwaterJunkie from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Please, please please, consider planting Native Mesquites instead. I know that they are not as large, but the Chileans are ruining our native varieties (not to mention falling over on houses and cars because of their shallow roots!). **Most importantly, their pollen is mixing with the Velvet Mesquites and producing hybrids that do not have the delicious and diabeticly nutritious pod flour. If you live here, then please be a friend to the desert and care for our natives. Thanks :)

Negative

On Apr 27, 2010, Juttah from Tucson, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

As others have mentioned, this tree can be MESSY. Our big one is a thornless hybrid, over 30 feet tall, about 15 years old. It drops leaves, twigs, pollen, flowers, seed pods... The leaves are tiny and follow you into the house, the car, and accumulate in cracks and crevices. Maybe one month out of the year where some portion of this tree isn't raining down on us.

We never water or fertilize it, and it still grows like a weed. Every year we spend hundreds of dollars to trim its ridiculously rampant growth. During active growth, it shoots out these LONG green branches, almost like a weeping willow. Last year our tree guy gave it some growth inhibitor, and I'm praying it works, I'm tired of shelling out big bucks to trim this tree. (Although we love the mesquite trimmings for ... read more

Negative

On Mar 15, 2010, Cherylgj from Gilbert, AZ wrote:

Our mesquite tree is extremely messy and when the pods drop, they leave stains on our concrete sidewalk that I have not been able to get up, even with detergents, bleach, muriatic acid and a pressure washer.

Neutral

On Jan 3, 2010, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have a love hate relationship with this tree. I love the appearance and shape of this tree. It has a darker bark than most Mesquite and it grows extremely fast. Since being planted from a 15Gal bucket, it now towers over my house and shades half of my back yard. As soon as the temps reach 100+, this tree takes off and grows like no other. Very little water is needed and mine receives all of the water it needs through the plants under and around it. It has wonderful shape and can be pruned into a very beautiful tree. If you want instant shade, then this is your tree.

As far as the "hate" part goes, this tree is a lot of work. I would not recommend this tree is you are not active in your garden. In the Phoenix area it drops its leaves from early Dec through Feb. T... read more

Positive

On Jul 2, 2005, Judy81350 from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

These beauties are fast growing and very easy to shape. I have the thornless variety of Chilean Mesquite. I am going to attempt to take some cuttings and see how it goes. I water them once a week and they are thriving on that. Nice and green.

Neutral

On Nov 23, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

It has thorns, but there's a thornless version that's cultivated.
Also can be grown from seeds.