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Prosopis juliflora ( ) is a shrub or small tree native to Mexicomarker, South America and the Caribbeanmarker. It has become established as a weed in Asia, Australia and elsewhere. Its uses include forage, wood and environmental management. The tree grows to a height of up to and has a trunk with a diameter of up to . It's known to hold the record for depth of penetration by roots. Prosopis juliflora roots were found growing at a depth of 53.3 meters (nearly 175 feet) at an open-pit mine near Tucsonmarker, Arizonamarker.


Vernacular names

This is a well-known plant in its native range as well as in Indiamarker, having a range of vernacular names, although no widely used English one. It is called bayahonda blanca in Spanish and bayarone Français in French. Other similar names are also used, including bayahonde, bayahonda and bayarone but these may also refer to any other Neotropical member of the genus Prosopis.

The tree is known by a range of other names in various parts of the world, including algarrobe, cambrón, cashaw, épinard, mesquite or mostrenco. In Hindi it is called Kabuli kikar, vilayati babul, vilayati khejra or vilayati kikar. The first of these means "Kabulmarker acacia". The "vilayati" names mean they are of European origin/brought by Europeans. In Gujarati it is called Gando Baval. Many of the less-specific names are due to the fact that over large parts of its range, it is the most familiar and common species of Prosopis, and thus to locals simply "the" bayahonde, algarrobe, etc. "Velvet mesquite" is sometimes given as an English name, but properly refers to a different species, Prosopis velutina. In Tamil, its known as "Cheemai Karuvel" cheemai is the tamil word meaning foreign and Karu vel means "Black Neem".Its found widely throughout tamil nadu and is used for burning, and as barriers.

In the Wayuu language, spoken on the La Guajira Peninsulamarker in northern Colombiamarker and Venezuelamarker, it is called trupillo or turpío.


This plant has been described under a number of now-invalid scientific names:
  • Acacia cumanensis Willd.
  • Acacia juliflora (Sw.) Willd.
  • Acacia salinarum (Vahl) DC.
  • Algarobia juliflora (Sw.) Heynh.
Algarobia juliflora as defined by George Bentham refers only to the typical variety, Prosopis juliflora var. juliflora (Sw.) DC
  • Desmanthus salinarum (Vahl) Steud.
  • Mimosa juliflora Sw.
  • Mimosa piliflora Sw.
  • Mimosa salinarum Vahl
  • Neltuma bakeri Britton & Rose
  • Neltuma juliflora (Sw.) Raf.
  • Neltuma occidenatlis Britton & Rose
  • Neltuma occidentalis Britton & Rose
  • Neltuma pallescens Britton & Rose
  • Prosopis bracteolata DC.
  • Prosopis cumanensis (Willd.) Kunth
  • Prosopis domingensis DC.
  • Prosopis dulcis Kunth var. domingensis (DC.)Benth.
Carl Sigismund Kunth's Prosopis dulcis is Prosopis laevigata. P. dulcis as described by William Jackson Hooker is Caldén (P. caldenia).
  • Prosopis vidaliana Fern.-Vill.

Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz was sometimes considered to belong here too, but it is usually considered a good species these days. Several other authors misapplied P. chilensis to Honey Mesquite (P. glandulosa).

Invasive status

P. juliflora is considered a noxious invader in the Afar Regionmarker of Ethiopiamarker, where it was introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as in Australia, where it has colonized more than 800,000 hectares of arable land. In the Afar region its aggressive growth leads to a monoculture, denying native plants water and sunlight, while denying its nutrients with the animals that eat its pods or its leaves. The Regional government with the non-governmental organisation Farm Africa are looking for ways to commercialize the tree's wood, but pastoralists who call it the "Devil Tree" insist that P. juliflora be eradicated.


Image:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) trunk & spines W IMG 1152.jpg|Trunk and spines in Hodalmarker, Faridabadmarker District, Haryanamarker (Indiamarker).Image:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) leaves & spines W IMG 1151.jpg|Branch with leaves and spines in Hodalmarker, Faridabadmarker District, Haryanamarker (Indiamarker).Image:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) flowers W IMG 1149.jpg‎|Flowers in Hodalmarker, Faridabadmarker District, Haryanamarker (Indiamarker).Image:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) pods W IMG 1146.jpg|Pods in Hodalmarker, Faridabadmarker District, Haryanamarker (Indiamarker).Image:Prosopis-juliflora-seeds.jpg|Seeds.File:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) W IMG 6936.jpg|Flowers & leaves in Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker.File:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) W3 IMG 6935.jpg|Flowers & leaves in Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker.



  • (1983): Prosopis juliflora DC.. In: Handbook of Energy Crops. Purdue University Center for New Crops & Plant Products. Version of 1998-JAN-08. Retrieved 2008-MAR-19.
  • (2005): Prosopis juliflora. Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 2007-DEC-20.
  • (2007): Uso, manejo y conservacion de "yosú", Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae) en la Alta Guajira colombiana [Usage, Management and Conservation of yosú, Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae), in the Upper Guajira, Colombia]. [Spanish with English abstract] Acta Biologica Colombiana 12(1): 99-112. PDF fulltext

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