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Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Subclassis: Rosidae
Ordo: Fabales
Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Mimosoideae
Tribus: Mimoseae
Genus: Prosopis
Species: P. affinis - P. africana - P. alba - P. alpataco - P. argentina - P. articulata - P. burkartii - P. caldenia - P. calingastana - P. campestris - P. castellanosii - P. chilensis - P. cineraria - P. denudans - P. elata - P. farcta - P. ferox - P. fiebrigii - P. flexuosa - P. glandulosa - P. hassleri - P. humilis - P. juliflora - P. kuntzei - P. laevigata - P. nigra - P. pallida - P. palmeri - P. pubescens - P. reptans - P. rojasiana - P. ruizlealii - P. ruscifolia - P. sericantha - P. strombulifera - P. tamarugo - P. torquata - P. velutina


Prosopis L.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Mesquiten

Prosopis is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains around 45 species of spiny trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. They often thrive in arid soil and are resistant to drought, on occasion developing extremely deep root systems. Their wood is usually hard, dense and durable. Their fruits are pods and may contain large amounts of sugar. The generic name means "burdock" in late Latin and originated in the Greek language.[3]

Selected species

* Mesquites (southern United States, Mexico)
o Prosopis glandulosa Torr. – Honey Mesquite; Haas (Cmiique Iitom)
o Prosopis laevigata (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) M.C.Johnst. – Smooth Mesquite
o Prosopis pubescens Benth. – Screwbean Mesquite
o Prosopis reptans Benth. – Tornillo
o Prosopis velutina Wooton – Velvet Mesquite
* "Algarrobos", bayahondas etc. (Neotropics, particularly the Gran Chaco)
o Prosopis abbreviata Benth. – Algarrobillo Espinoso
o Prosopis affinis Spreng. – Ñandubay, Algarrobillo, Espinillo, Ibopé-Morotí
o Prosopis alba Griseb. – Caldén
o Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz – Algarrobo Chileno, Algarrobo Blanco
o Prosopis fiebrigii Harms
o Prosopis flexuosa DC. – Alpataco, Algarrobo Negro
o Prosopis hassleri Harms
o Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. – Bayahonda Blanca, Bayarone Français; Kabuli Kikar, Vilayati Babul, Vilayati Khejra or Vilayati Kikar (Hindi); Trupillo or Turpío (Wayuunaiki)
o Prosopis kuntzei Harms ex Kuntze – Itín, Barba de tigre, Carandá, Palo Mataco
o Prosopis nigra (Griseb.) Hieron. – Algarrobo Negro, Algarrobo Amarillo, Algarrobo Dulce, Algarrobo Morado
o Prosopis pallida (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Kunth – American Carob, Huarango, Kiawe (Hawaiian)
o Prosopis rojasiana Burkart
o Prosopis ruscifolia Griseb. – Vinal
o Prosopis strombulifera (Lam.) Benth. – Creeping Mesquite, Argentine Screwbean
o Prosopis tamarugo Phil. – Tamarugo
* African species
o Prosopis africana (Guill. & Perr.) Taub. – African Mesquite
* Asian species (India, mainly Rajasthan, to the Arabian Peninsula)
o Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce – Jand; Ghaf (Arabic); Sami or Sumri (Gujarati); Khejri, Sangri (Rajasthani); Kandi (Sindhi)
o Prosopis farcta (Sol. ex Russell) J.F.Macbr. – Syrian Mesquite[4][5]

Formerly placed here

* Acacia atramentaria Benth. (as P. astringens Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.)
* Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Burch.) Skeels (as P. elephantina (Burch.) E.Mey. or P. elephantorrhiza Spreng.)
* Prosopidastrum globosum (Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.) Burkart (as P. globosa Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.)


Prosopis species have been found to contain 5-hydroxytryptamine, apigenin, isorhamnetin-3-diglucoside, l-arabinose, quercetin, tannin and tryptamine.[6]
Prosopis Species Known to Contain Alkaloids Prosopis alba Beta-phenethylamine and tryptamine[7]
Prosopis alpataco "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[8]
Prosopis argentina "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[8]
Prosopis chilensis "Aerial parts" contain beta-phenethylamine and derivatives plus tryptamine[8][9]
Prosopis argentina Exudate contains tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[8]
Prosopis glandulosa Alkaloids in bark and roots,[6] tyramine and N-methyltyramine (a stimulant) in leaves[10]
Prosopis juliflora 5-HTP (plant) and tryptamine (plant).[11]
Prosopis nigra Harman, eleagnine and N-acetyltryptamine[12]
Prosopis pugionata "Aerial parts" contain tryptamine. Phenethylamine derivatives.[8]
Prosopis tamarugo Phenethylamine[9]

The tannins present in Prosopis species are of the phytogallotannins and pyrocatecollic types (Rocha 1990). Tannins of tropical woods tend to be of a cathetic nature rather than of the gallic type present in temperate woods (Doat 1978). The tannins are mainly found in the bark and wood while their concentration in the pods is low.[13]

Medicinal uses

Prosopis africana Stem Bark:-

"The effects of the methanol extract of the stem bark of Prosopis africana (Guill., Perrott. and Rich.) Taubert (Fabaceae) on bleeding/clotting and coagulation time, excision and dead space wounds were studied in rats. Also, the extract was subjected to antibacterial, and acute toxicity and lethality (LD(50)) tests.

The extract significantly (P<0.05) reduced bleeding/clotting and coagulation time in rats. It also reduced epithelialization period of excision wounds in rats and inhibited the growth of laboratory strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae to varying extents.

Acute toxicity and lethality (LD(50)) test on the extract established an LD(50) of 774 mg/kg (i.p) in mice while phytochemical analysis gave positive reactions for alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids and carbohydrates. The results of this study demonstrate the beneficial effects of the stem bark of P. africana in wound care."[14]



1. ^ "Prosopis L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1999-03-05. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
2. ^ "Prosopis L.". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
3. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. 4 M-Q. CRC Press. p. 2171. ISBN 9780849326776.
4. ^ "Prosopis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
5. ^ "Subordinate Taxa of Prosopis L.". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
6. ^ a b Medicinal Plants of the Southwest
7. ^ Graziano MN, Ferraro GE, Coussio JD (December 1971). "Alkaloids of Argentine medicinal plants. II. Isolation of tyramine, beta-phenethylamine and tryptamine from Prosopis alba". Lloydia 34 (4): 453–4. PMID 5173440.
8. ^ a b c d e Tapia A, Egly Feresin G, Bustos D, Astudillo L, Theoduloz C, Schmeda-Hirschmann G (July 2000). "Biologically active alkaloids and a free radical scavenger from Prosopis species". J Ethnopharmacol 71 (1-2): 241–6. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00171-9. PMID 10904169.
9. ^ a b Luis Astudillo, Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann, Juan P Herrera, Manuel Cortés (April 2000). "Proximate composition and biological activity of Chilean Prosopis species". J Sci Food Agric 80 (5): 567–573. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(200004)80:5<567::AID-JSFA563>3.0.CO;2-Y.
10. ^ "Prosopis glandulosa". Retrieved 2008-05-01.
11. ^ Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
12. ^ Constantino Manuel Torres; David B. Repke (15 March 2006). Anadenanthera: visionary plant of ancient South America. Psychology Press. pp. 134–. ISBN 9780789026422.
13. ^ NM Pasiecznik (2001). "The Prosopis juliflora—Prosopis pallida Complex: A Monograph" (PDF).
14. ^ Ezike, AC; Akah, PA; Okoli, CO; Udegbunam, S; Okwume, N; Okeke, C; Iloani, O (May 2010). "Medicinal Plants Used in Wound Care: A Study of Prosopis africana (Fabaceae) Stem Bark". Indian J Pharm Sci 72 (3): 334–9. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.70479. PMC 3003166. PMID 21188042.

General references

* Paciecznik, N. M., Harris P. J. C., & S. J. Smith. 2003. Identifying Tropical Prosopis Species: A Field Guide. HDRA, Coventry, UK. ISBN 0-905343-34-4.
* Handbook on taxonomy of Prosopis in Mexico, Peru and Chile (FAO Document Repository)
* Plant Walk I: Old Main (website of the Vascular Plant Herbarium of the University of Arizona in Tucson)
* Plant Walk 1 UofA
* Plant Walk 2 UofA

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