Prosopis spicigera Linn.
A large shrub or a medium sized tree up to 10 m tall, branches prickly, prickles curved, compressed. Leaves alternate, bipinnate, rachis 1.2-5 cm long; pinnae 1-2 pairs, 2.5-8.0 cm,. long, leaflets 7-12 pairs, more or less sessile, c. 3-5 mm long and c. 2-4 mm broad, oblong, oblique, apex usually mucronate, base rounded, 3 nerved. Flowers creamy white in pedunculate spikes, nearly 5-12.5 cm long, peduncle 1.0-2.5 cm long. Calyx c. 1-1.5 mm long, cup-shaped, truncate or obscurely 5 toothed. Petals 3-4 mm long, oblong, tips recurved. Stamens 10, free, shortly exserted, anthers tipped with deciduous glands. Pods 12.5-25 cm long, c. 5-8 mm broad, slender, pendulous, cylindric, turgid, exocarp coriaceous, mesocarp pulpy, endocarp papery. Seeds 10-15, oblong, compressed.
Fl. Per. Dec.-March.
Type: ‘Habitat in India’, presently untraceable.
Distribution: West Pakistan (Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan); India (Punjab, Rajputana, Bombay, Madras); Afghanistan; Persia; Arabia.
The foliage is much lopped for fodder and the wood is commonly used for fuel. The pods are used for fodder and the sweetish pulp around the seeds is eaten green or dry, raw or cooked.