Prosopis tamarugo

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Prosopis tamarugo
Prosopis tamarugo.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Prosopis
Species: P. tamarugo
Binomial name
Prosopis tamarugo
Fruto del Tamarugo.jpg

Prosopis tamarugo, commonly known as the tamarugo, is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, subfamilia Mimosoideae. It is only found in northern Chile, particularly in the Pampa del Tamarugal, some 70 km (43 mi) east of the city of Iquique. This bushy tree apparently grows without the benefit of rainfall, and it is thought obtains some water from dew. Studies indicate it is a Phreatophyte - having deep roots that tap into ground water supplies. It also participates in hydraulic redistribution moving water from deeper levels to the upper and also reversing the process in times of severe drought [2]

Scattered stands of the trees have been cut down for firewood. The trees grow on saline soils that do not allow for other trees. The species is a valuable source of charcoal and lumber and the leaves and fruits are also food for goats. It has been planted in Spain.[3]


  1. ^ González, M. 1998. Prosopis tamarugo. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
  2. ^ Mooney, HA; Sl Gulmon; PW Rundel; J Ehleringer. Oecologia. 44 (2): 177–180. doi:10.1007/bf00572676. JSTOR 4216007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Chilean plants cultivated in Spain" (PDF). José Manuel Sánchez de Lorenzo-Cáceres. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 

"Prosopis tamarugo". Ornamental trees in Spain (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-03-30.