Common Names: Sali, Vanni, Velvet mesquite, Algaroba
Flowering Period: October-February
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The Mesquite has been introduced in Asia and Africa and is now widespread in the semi-arid areas of the world.
It is a deciduous thorny shrub or small tree, to 12 m tall; trunk to 1.2 m in diameter, bark thick, brown or blackish, shallowly fissured; leaves compound, commonly many more than 9 pairs.
The leaflets are mostly 5–10 mm long, linear-oblong, globous, often hairy, commonly rounded at the apex; stipular spines, if any, yellowish, often stout
Theflowers are perfect, greenish-yellow, sweet-scented
. Pods several-seeded, strongly compressed when young, thick at maturity, constricted between the seeds, 10–25 cm long, brown or yellowish, 10–30-seeded.
Used for erosion control, shade, fuelwood, building materials, and pods for animal and human consumption in arid and semi-arid regions.
Seedpods edible – raw or cooked.
The seeds do contain antinutritional factors, including trypsin inhibitors, phenols, alkaloids and haemagglutinin, but these are not present in high enough concentration to constitute a major nutritional problem.
The leaves are used in the treatment of oral infections, painful and frequent urination
. The powdered leaves are brewed in water and the liquid applied to the eyes to treat irritations, conjunctivitis etc.