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| Tornillo, Dwarf Screw Bean|
Prosopis reptans var. cinerascens
Tornillo makes its home on the saline sands or clay soils of the Rio Grande Plains and South Coastal Texas and Mexico. It is an easily overlooked, colony-forming shrublet bearing an oddly twisted or spirally coiled 1 3/4-inch-long, thick, yellow to reddish-brown legume pod. As a low undershrub, tornillo's slender, wiry, brown or grey twigs have alternate bipinnate leaves and paired, straight or slightly curved grey spines at the nodes. Its globe-shaped flowers are dark golden yellow. White tail deer browse the leaves.
Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
Exposure: partial sun
Flower Color: golden yellow
Blooming Period: spring
Fruit Characteristics: spirally coiled legume
Height: 2 feet
Width: 1 to 2 feet
Plant Character: deciduous
Heat Tolerance: high
Soil Requirements: neutral