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Plants: Species

Chilean Mesquite Prosopis chilensis


What better place than in Heart of Africa at the Safari Park to find thorn acacias? Their spiky silhouettes are prominent in these African vistas, scatterd along the walkways and grasslands. But African acacias are hard to come by in California, so the Park's Horticulture Department looked for a suitable and available substitute to round out the complement of trees. They found it in the Chilean mesquite tree Prosopis chilensis, which has similar bark and leaf structure to the thorn acacias. In fact, the mesquite occupies the same environmental niche in North and South America that the thorn acacia does in Africa.