Prosopis cineraria is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is native to arid portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is an established introduced species in parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. Common names include Ghaf (Arabic); Khejri or "Loong Tree" (Rajasthan); Janty(जांटी) (Bishnois); Jund (Punjabi); Kahoor (Balochi); Kandi (Sindhi); Banni / Shami (Kannada);Gandasein(Burmese); Vanni (Tamil); Jammi (Telugu); Chaunkra, Jant/Janti, Khar, Khejri/Khejra, Sami, Shami (Marathi) and (Hindi); Khijdo (Gujarat); Vanni-andara, Katu andara, Kalapu andara, Lunu andara (Sinhala), ಶಮೀವೃಕ್ಷ or ಬನ್ನೀಮರ (kannada).
It is the state tree of Rajasthan and Telangana in India. A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.
It is also the national tree of the United Arab Emirates. Through the Give a Ghaf campaign its citizens are urged to plant it in their gardens to combat desertification and to preserve their country's heritage.
P. cineraria is a small tree, ranging in height from 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft). Leaves are bipinnate, with seven to fourteen leaflets on each of one to three pinnae. Branches are thorned along the internodes. Flowers are small and creamy-yellow, and followed by seeds in pods. The tree is found in extremely arid conditions, with rainfall as low as 15 cm (5.9 in) annually; but is indicative of the presence of a deep water table. As with some other Prosopis spp., P. cineraria has demonstrated a tolerance of highly alkaline and saline environments.
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- Rejuvenation of Khejri Trees through Bio-control Agents
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- Philp, Myra (17 June 2013). "UAE groups help to save ghaf trees on UN 'Combat Desertification Day'". 7DAYS in Dubai. Al Sidra Media. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- "Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce". Tropical Forages. Centre for International Agriculture Research and Food and Agriculture Agency. 2005. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
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