Grown as animal fodder and for timber, used for hedging in warmer regions, or to control soil erosion.
Hardy to zone 10.
The Mesquite tree grows to a height of up to 12 metres (39 ft) and has a trunk with a diameter of up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft).
A mature plant can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds. Seeds remain viable for up to 10 years. The tree reproduces by way of seeds, not vegetatively.
Seeds are spread by cattle and other animals that consume the seed pods and spread the seeds in their droppings.
Its roots are able to grow to a great depth in search of water: in 1960, they were discovered at a depth of 53 meters (175 feet) at an open-pit mine near Tucson, Arizona, putting them among the deepest known roots.
This is said to have been introduced to Sri Lanka in the 19th century, where it is now known as vanni-andara, or katu andara in Sinhala. But given its existence and recognition even as a holy tree in ancient India, that claim is unlikely to be true. The tree is believed to have existed in the Vanni and Mannar regions for a long time. This species has thorns in pairs at the nodes but thornless internodes. It may also be almost thornless.