Prosopis spicigera L.

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Leguminosae

Description

Low tree with slender grey branches. Prickles few, none, or copious, 0.3 to 0.6 cm long, nearly straight, at first straw-coloured. Pinnae 2.5 to 5.0 cm long: leaflets 16 to 24. Flowers in axillary spikes, 5.0 to 7.5 cm long, and in terminal panicles. Pod straight, edible, smooth, 10 to 15 cm long, 0.6 cm thick, narrowed gradually to a short stalk, the mesocarp starchy. Seeds 10 to 15, dull brown, oblong (Hooker, 1879).

Distribution

Punjab, western India, Afghanistan, Iran.

Characteristics

Ganguli, Kaul and Nambiar (1964) stated that Prosopis spicigera was considered to be the best browse plant for cattle, sheep and camels in Jodhpur (India) on the basis of availability, palatability and nutritive value. The highest yield of dry fodder (125 kg./ha) was achieved with a density of 14 percent in the natural grazing lands. It is lopped in winter and can stand recurrent and severe loppings without detriment either to its growth or the subsequent leaf yield. A moderately sized tree produces more than 45 kg. of dry leaf forage, locally known as "loong". They recorded the palatability as Acacia nilotica > Prosopis spicigera > Acacia senegal > Albizia lebbek.