Prosopis nigra

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For other tree species with similar names, see Algarrobo (disambiguation).

Algarrobo negro
Prosopis nigra 1b.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae[1]
(unranked): Mimosoid clade[1]
Genus: Prosopis
Species: P. nigra
Binomial name
Prosopis nigra
Griseb.

Prosopis nigra (synonym Prosopis algarrobilla) is a South American leguminous tree species that inhabits the Gran Chaco ecoregion (in particular, the transition zone between the Wet Chaco and the Southern Chaco), in Argentina and Paraguay. It is known as algarrobo negro in Spanish, which means "black carob tree" (the Spanish settlers gave it that name, as they did with many other species of genus Prosopis, because of its similarity to the European carob tree). It is also variously called algarrobo dulce, algarrobo morado and algarrobo amarillo ("sweet", "purple" and "yellow" carob tree, respectively).

The tree blossoms in September and October, and gives fruit from November to March. It grows together with the vinalillo tree (Prosopis vinalillo) and under the tops of the palm tree Copernicia alba. Like the other species of this genus, it tolerates arid climate, but can also survive in flooded ground for a long time. The heartwood is dark brown and very heavy, considered noble by local carpenters, also weather resistant, it presents streaks.

Usage

Algarrobo negro wood is used in making furniture and barrels. High in tannin, it has been employed for leather tanning since the colonial era. Its fruit, called an algarroba, is a dehiscent-type pod, with a sweet, starchy paste inside, milled to make flour, and fermented to make an alcoholic beverage.

Sources

  • Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval - H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz
  • Catálogo Web de especies forestales - Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Asunción (in Spanish)
Detail of timber from Prosopis nigra

References

  1. ^ a b The Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG). (2017). "A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny". Taxon. 66 (1): 44–77. doi:10.12705/661.3. 


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