MundoAndino Home : Colombia Guide at Mundo Andino

Prosopis juliflora

"Turpio" redirects here. For the ancient Roman actor, see Lucius Ambivius Turpio.

Prosopis juliflora is a shrub or small tree native to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. It has become established as a weed in Asia, Australia and elsewhere. Its uses include forage, wood and environmental management. The tree grows to a height of up to and has a trunk with a diameter of up to . It's known to hold the record for depth of penetration by roots. Prosopis juliflora roots were found growing at a depth of 53.3 meters (nearly 175 feet) at an open-pit mine near Tucson, Arizona.


Vernacular names

This is a well-known plant in its native range as well as in India, having a range of vernacular names, although no widely used English one. It is called bayahonda blanca in Spanish and bayarone Francais in French. Other similar names are also used, including bayahonde, bayahonda and bayarone but these may also refer to any other Neotropical member of the genus Prosopis.

The tree is known by a range of other names in various parts of the world, including algarrobe, cambron, cashaw, epinard, mesquite or mostrenco. In Hindi it is called Kabuli kikar, vilayati babul, vilayati khejra or vilayati kikar. The first of these means "Kabul acacia". The "vilayati" names mean they are of European origin/brought by Europeans. In Gujarati it is called Gando Baval. Many of the less-specific names are due to the fact that over large parts of its range, it is the most familiar and common species of Prosopis, and thus to locals simply "the" bayahonde, algarrobe, etc. "Velvet mesquite" is sometimes given as an English name, but properly refers to a different species, Prosopis velutina. In Tamil, its known as "Cheemai Karuvel" cheemai is the tamil word meaning foreign and Karu vel means "Black Neem".Its found widely throughout tamil nadu and is used for burning, and as barriers.

In the Wayuu language, spoken on the La Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia and Venezuela, it is called trupillo or turpio.Villalobos et al. (2007)


This plant has been described under a number of now-invalid scientific names:

Acacia cumanensis Willd.

Acacia juliflora (Sw.) Willd.

Acacia salinarum (Vahl) DC.

Algarobia juliflora (Sw.) Heynh.

Algarobia juliflora as defined by George Bentham refers only to the typical variety, Prosopis juliflora var. juliflora (Sw.) DC

Desmanthus salinarum (Vahl) Steud.

Mimosa juliflora Sw.

Mimosa piliflora Sw.

Mimosa salinarum Vahl

Neltuma bakeri Britton & Rose

Neltuma juliflora (Sw.) Raf.

Neltuma occidenatlis Britton & Rose

Neltuma occidentalis Britton & Rose

Neltuma pallescens Britton & Rose

Prosopis bracteolata DC.

Prosopis cumanensis (Willd.) Kunth

Prosopis domingensis DC.

Prosopis dulcis Kunth var. domingensis (DC.)Benth.

Carl Sigismund Kunth's Prosopis dulcis is Prosopis laevigata. P. dulcis as described by William Jackson Hooker is Calden (P. caldenia).

Prosopis vidaliana Fern.-Vill.

Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz was sometimes considered to belong here too, but it is usually considered a good species these days. Several other authors misapplied P. chilensis to Honey Mesquite (P. glandulosa).

Invasive status

P. juliflora is considered a noxious invader in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, where it was introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as in Australia, where it has colonized more than 800,000 hectares of arable land. In the Afar region its aggressive growth leads to a monoculture, denying native plants water and sunlight, while denying its nutrients with the animals that eat its pods or its leaves. The Regional government with the non-governmental organisation FARM-Africa are looking for ways to commercialize the tree's wood, but pastoralists who call it the "Devil Tree" insist that P. juliflora be eradicated.


Prosopis juliflora shows unusual amount of the flavonoid (-)-mesquitol from its heartwood.


File:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) W IMG 6936.jpg|Flowers & leaves in Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India.

File:Vilaiti Keekar (Prosopis juliflora) W3 IMG 6935.jpg|Flowers & leaves in Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India.


(1983): Prosopis juliflora DC.. In: Handbook of Energy Crops. Purdue University Center for New Crops & Plant Products. Version of 1998-JAN-08. Retrieved 2008-MAR-19.

(2005): Prosopis juliflora. Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 2007-DEC-20.

(2007): Uso, manejo y conservacion de "yosu", Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae) en la Alta Guajira colombiana [Usage, Management and Conservation of yosu, Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae), in the Upper Guajira, Colombia]. [Spanish with English abstract] Acta Biologica Colombiana 12(1): 99-112. PDF fulltext

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Trees of Colombia or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Prosopis juliflora

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009