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Useful Tropical Plants

Prosopis ruscifolia

Griseb.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Prosopis ruscifolia
Overgrazing and selective cutting alter the vegetation. In some areas what is used to be a forest with several tree species is now a bush/low forest, a mono-specific stand of Vinal (Prosopis ruscifolia) with no understory and bare soil.
Photograph by: Christian Ostrosky
Creative Commons License
Prosopis ruscifolia Prosopis ruscifolia

General Information

Prosopis ruscifolia is a spiny, deciduous tree with an open, roundish or elongate crown; it can grow 5 - 12 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 70 - 90cm in diameter[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree yields a good quality timber which is harvested from the wild and used locally. The seedpods are sometimes eaten, the plant has medicinal uses, and the tree is an excellent pioneer for restoring woodland.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, northeast Brazil.

Habitat

The Pantanal region of Brazil, growing on open, flat land that can be inundated for several months of the year[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the 'Pantanal' region of S. America, which has an average yearly rainfall of 1,000 - 1,400mm, but is fed by the upper Paraguay River which floods in the wet season, causing large areas to be under water for several months of the year. Its average temperature is 25°c, but this can fluctuate from 0 - 40°c.
Requires a sunny position[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
The plant invades pasture in Argentina, where it is considered to be a serious pest[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The plant colonizes open pasture rapidly, forming in its young state dense, spiny, impenetrable thickets[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The plant is spread through animals eating the seedpods and then voiding the hard-coated seeds undamaged and able to germinate better as a result of their experience![
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Pods - cooked or used as a meal[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. The report does not make it clear if the immature seeds or mature seeds are eaten. If it is used as a meal, the suggestion is that the mature seeds are dried and ground into a powder[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The leaves are said to have medicinal properties[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

The leaves are astringent and bitter. An infusion is used as a wash to treat diseases of the eyes[
1566
Title
Plantae Diaphoricae Florae Argentinae ó Revista Sistematica de las Plantas medicinales, alimenticias ó de alguna otr
Publication
 
Author
Hieronymus J.
Publisher
Guillermo Kraft; Buenos Aires
Year
1882
ISBN
 
Description
A very old work, but lots of information on the uses of Argentinian plants. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A natural pioneer species within its native range, rapidly invading pasture land and other open areas[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. Considered a weed by cattle ranchers, it is fast-growing, fixes atmospheric nitrogen and can be used as a pioneer to establish native woodland or a woodland garden[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is reddish-yellow. The wood is thick-textured, straight-grained, heavy, hard, elastic, with good mechanical properties and moderately durable. It is only used locally, for applications such as furniture, door and window frames, cooperage, poles, railway ties etc[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
,
549
Title
Flore Forestiere Du Globe
Publication
 
Author
Chnacerel L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Gauthier-Villars et Co.; Paris.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, a very detailed work on the timbers of the world. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The fully grown tree yields a good timber of similar quality to that obtained from Prosopis alba and Prosopis nigra[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used for flooring, barrels, carpentry etc[
491
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University
Year
1976
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, this issue has a comprehensive treatment of the genus Prosopis as well as several other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1566
Title
Plantae Diaphoricae Florae Argentinae ó Revista Sistematica de las Plantas medicinales, alimenticias ó de alguna otr
Publication
 
Author
Hieronymus J.
Publisher
Guillermo Kraft; Buenos Aires
Year
1882
ISBN
 
Description
A very old work, but lots of information on the uses of Argentinian plants. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Sow the seed in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate of above 50% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 7 - 14 days[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-01-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Prosopis+ruscifolia>

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