Prosopis pallida H.B.K.
Syn.: Prosopis limensis Benth.
Kiawe (Hawaii), Algarroba
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
Very valuable for ornament, shelter in arid conditions, and for timber, fuel,
and forage (fruits). Highly esteemed by foresters in Hawaii. Its cultivation
might be encouraged in other warm and dry countries (Burkart, 1976). Leaves
and pods, fed to cattle, donkeys, and other livestock, are eaten by wildlife.
Pods sweeter than those of most other Prosopis species. In its native habitat
they are made into a sweet syrup used to prepare various drinks. A potentially
important species for plantations in hot, dry regions, especially where
salinity makes the cultivation of other species difficult (NAS, 1980a).
No data available.
No data available.
Tree (or shrub on sterile soils) 820 m high, trunk to 60 cm in diameter,
unarmed or spiny, with short axillary, uninodal, geminate, divergent spines
less than 4 cm long. Leaves medium to small in size, pallid grayish-green when
dry, (1)24 jugate, pubescent, ciliolate to subglabrous; petiole short, with
the rachis 0.84.5 cm long, pubescent; pinnae 1.56 cm long, with a sessile,
cuplike gland at their junction; leaflets green or gray when dry, 6 to 15 pairs
per pinna, approximate without touching or a little distant, pubescent or at
least ciliolate, oblong-elliptic to ovate, obtuse or mucronate, firm,
pinnatinerved below, 2.58.3 mm long x 1.44 mm broad. Racemes spiciform, much
(2 to 3 times) longer than the leaves; rachis and the short peduncle pubescent,
together 815 cm long; florets dense (200 to 250 per raceme), short-pedicelled,
greenish-yellow; calyx ciliolate, 0.51.5 mm long; petals 2.53 mm long, free,
villous within; stamens 57 mm long; ovary stipitate, villous. Legume straight
or subfalcate, very similar to that of P. juliflora (Sw.) DC., but
thicker, straw-yellow when ripe, with parallel margins, fleshy, sweet, edible,
subcompressed, long or short stipitate with rounded base, and acuminate,
sometimes nearly subquadrate-rectangular in transection, (6-)1025 cm long 1.5
cm broad 59 mm thick; endocarp segments to 30, broader than long; seeds
oblong, brown, 6.5 mm long (Burkart, 1976).
Reported from the South American Center of Diversity, kiawe, or cvs thereof, is
reported to tolerate drought, lava, salt, and sand. Shallow-rooted, the
species is subject to windthrow. Said to hybridize with P. juliflora in
Ecuador. The tree may become an invader, forming annoying thickets (Burkart,
Native to Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador in the drier parts and along the Pacific
coast. It has been naturalized in Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands, and
perhaps elsewhere (Brazil); introduced for cultivation in India and Australia
(NAS, 1980a; Burkart, 1976).
Probably ranging from Tropical Thorn to Moist through Subtropical Thorn to
Moist Forest Life Zones, this species is estimated to tolerate annual
precipitation of 2 to 13 dm and annual temperatures of 18 to 26°C. Ranges
in soil adaptation from old lava flows to coastal sands.
Seed sown in new locations may require rhizobial inoculation. Can be irrigated
with water half as salty as sea water. According to Felker et al (1981), P.
pallida, P. articulata, and P. tamarugo grew well on an N-free
medium equivalent to 1/2 seawater and grew slightly in full seawater.
No data available.
In the 1940's, nearly 181 MT honey were produced annually from the kiawe, once
appraised as "the most valuable of all the introduced trees in the Hawaiian
Islands. Prior to 1948, ca 500,000 bags of pods were collected annually as
fodder in Hawaii (Neal, 1948).
Largely used for charcoal, the wood has a high calorific value.
Apparently attractive to termites and wood boring beetles like Clytus
cornis. Psyllids feed on the shoots and leaf tips of this species,
apparently more than others. Felker et al (1981) review the pest infestations
of their Prosopis plantings with suggestions for their control.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Burkart, A. 1976. A monograph of the genus Prosopis (Leguminosae subfam.
Mimosoideae). J. Arn. Arb. 57(3/4):219249; 450525.
- Felker, P., Cannell, G.H., Clark, P.R., Osborn, J.F., and Nash, P. 1981.
Screening Prosopis (mesquite) species for biofuel production on semiarid
lands. Final Report to US DOE. NTIS. Springfield, VA.
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- Neal, M.C. 1948. In gardens of Hawaii. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publ.
Last update Thursday, January 8, 1998 by aw