Prosopis reptans var. cinerascens

Botanical Name

Prosopis reptans Bentham var. cinerascens (A. Gray) Burkart

Common Name(s)

  • dwarf screwbean

Legume Clades

Native Geographic Range

  • Southwestern North America

IUCN Status

Growth Form


Cultivation Status in AZ

Uniquely cultivated by DELEP


Cold-deciduous plants with wiry stems rarely more than 20 in (0.5 m) high and armed with paired, white spines at the nodes. Spreading by underground roots extending many yards (meters) to form low masses of plants. Leaves are bipinnate with 1 pair of pinnae. There are 7--13 pairs of leaflets per pinna. Spherical heads of yellow flower are produced in spring and summer.


Native to parts of southern Texas and in northeastern Mexico where it is often found in saline soils of coastal areas and on plains in coastal prairie and thornscrub. A second variety occurs in Argentina.


This species can be useful in erosion control due to its tendency to spread and form low masses of plants.


Dwarf screwbean is not recommended for cultivation due to its tendency to spread aggressively. Once established, eradication is difficult. The plants have attractive flowers and interesting, bright yellow, coiled fruits that can persist through the winter months. Plants are hardy to at least 16° F (-9° C).