Two types of mesquite trees can be found at Red Rock Canyon. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two involves looking at their fruits; honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) features long bean pods in the summer while screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) has spiraled bean pods. These trees can grow up to 30 feet tall, produce small leaflets, and have thorns along their branches. In late spring you’ll see clusters of small yellow flowers that attract many pollinators. The fruits of these plants provide nutrients for many browsing wildlife species and served as a staple in Natives’ diets in the southwest. You’ll find these plants in washes and moister soils throughout Red Rock Canyon. The red-brown bark and wood was used for making fences and posts as it is a very sturdy and rot-resistant material.
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