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Family Fabaceae

HAWAII - NATURALIZED

Prosopis pallida  

Kaloko, Oahu

 

Koko Crater BG, Oahu

ALGAROBA or MESQUITE    KIAWE

Invasive thorny tree or shrub in dry habitats.  Forms impenetrable thickets.  Deep roots lower water table to the detriment of native species.  Somewhat pubescent leaves have 3 to 4 pairs of pinnae, 6 to 15 pairs of leaflets 2.5 to 10mm long, spines less than 1 cm.  Introduced to Hawaii in 1828.  Bean pods were used as animal feed, the seeds readily dispersed after passing unharmed through the digestive system.  Native to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  Prosopis juliflora has larger leaves and spines.