Prosopis cineraria



Prosopis cineraria also known as Khejri, Jandi, Ghaf is one of 44 species of leguminous trees and shrubs in the genus. It is a small thorny, irregularly branched tree, 5-10 in high. Evergreen or nearly so, it forms an open crown and has thick, rough gray bark with deep fissures. Leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound with 1-3 pairs of pinnae. Each pinna has 7-14 pairs of leaflets, 4- 15 mm long and 2- 4 mm broad. The thorns are straight with a conical base and distributed sparsely along the length of the stem. They first become visible when the seedlings are 6-8 weeks old. In this respect, P. cineraria differs from the thorny New World species of Prosopis (e.g., P. juliflora) which have thorns in pairs at the nodes but thornless internodes. The 0.6 cm yellow-green flowers are borne on 5-23 cm spike-like racemes. Up to 25 dull brown seeds, 0.3- 0.8 cm long, are contained in each of the light yellow pods, which are long (8-19 cm), narrow (0.4-0.7 cm), and cylindrical. As with other Prosopis, rooting can be very deep; the tap root of P. cineraria may penetrate vertically up to 20 m or more.