These large shrubs or small trees are originally from South America, although I admit that I have only seen them growing in greenhouses.
Brugmansia are called angel’s trumpets because of their extraordinarily large, hanging trumpet-shaped flowers. Plant breeding enthusiasts have developed beautiful hybrids and cultivars with flowers of many colors and shapes.
A relative of datura, all parts of these plants are toxic.
Several types of mesquite trees grow in Arizona. We’ve already covered the screwbean mesquite and the honey mesquite in previous posts. Today we’re going to take a look at the native velvet mesquite, Prosopis velutina, and the Chilean mesquite, Prosopis chilensis. We are covering them at the same time because, although there are differences between the two species, they hybridize and the exact parentage of any one tree may be difficult to figure out.
The Chilean mesquite is fast growing in areas with irrigation.
They have an open, spreading canopy, which is their appeal for landscapes. On the down side, the roots of Chilean mesquites are often shallow and the trees tend to tip over readily during storms.
In contrast, the velvet mesquite has a deep tap root as well as more compact foliage. They tend to reach maturity more slowly, especially in areas without added water. In nature, velvet mesquites grow densely along desert rivers, forming what are called mesquite bosques.
The flowers are yellow-green spikes, up to four inches long. Velvet mesquites flower in the spring.
Once pollinated, the seed pods begin to form.
Mesquite seeds can be difficult to see because they are encased in a tough pod and an internal case.
(Public domain photograph of velvet mesquite seeds from Wikimedia)
Once the pods and cases are removed, the seeds are typical brown, shiny legumes.