• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.

    Tumacácori

    National Historical Park Arizona

Mesquite Tree

Mesquite tree on Tumacácori Mission grounds
Velvet mesquite tree on Tumacácori Mission grounds
Photo by Anita Badertscher
 

The mesquite tree was extremely important to the O'odham people. The bean pods were an essential food staple. The hard wood is excellent as firewood and as a building material.

Both velvet and honey mesquites are found here at Tumacácori National Historical Park, with velvet mesquite being by far the most prevalent tree in the park.

 
Velvet mesquite pods

Velvet mesquite bean pods

Photo Courtesy of Tarleton University

The mesquite bean can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable when fresh. Fully ripened and dried, the pod can be ground into a flour that is sweet and very high in protein.

Come visit this park and see the rare and protected riparian mesquite bosque habitat in person.

Did You Know?

San Cayetano de Calabazas

The mission name "San Cayetano de Calabazas" means Saint Cajetan of Squash (i.e. gourds, pumpkins) in English.