Click on image for full screen view.


Tornillo, Dwarf Screw Bean
Prosopis reptans var. cinerascens

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

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

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: neutral

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

| Index of Scientific Names | Index of Common Names | Photo Gallery Index |