Gum Mesquite. Mesquite Gum, Gum Mezquite. Prosopis juliflora.
Gum Mesquite. Mesquite Gum. Gum Mezquite.—This is the product of Prosopis juliflora C., and perhaps other species of the same genus. Mesquite is a small, thorny, acacia-like tree or shrub belonging to the Fam. Leguminosae, and growing in New Mexico, Texas, and other neighboring regions, where it covers vast extents of country. The fruit is a long, compressed pod, filled with a sweet pulp, which is said to contain 30 per cent. of grape sugar, and to be used by the Indians as a food. A gum exudes from the stem and branches, It occurs in irregular, roundish pieces, of various sizes and usually of a dark amber-brown color, though sometimes, especially when gathered from young trees, it is nearly colorless. Procter found it to resemble gum arable in its solubilities, but to differ essentially in not being precipitated by lead subacetate, and in its strong solution not being coagulated by borax. (A. J. P., xxvii, 224.) Campbell Morfit found in it a very little bassorin (0.206 per cent.), which did not exist in the specimens examined by Procter. (Am. J. Sci., March, 1855, 264.) See also A. J. P., 1855, 542, for a brief description of the gum and its character.
The saccharine pods of Prosopis odorata Torr. and Frem. (P. pubescens Benth.. are largely employed as food by the Indians, and those of all the species form valuable fodder for cattle.