Velvet Mesquite

INTRODUCTION:
Hello! Let's learn about the Velvet Mesquite! The Velvet Mesquite is most recognized for its seed pods. It lives in the Sonoran Desert. It grows along river beds. It needs water and sunshine to live. Its bark is reddish-brown or gray-brown. Its branches grow bunches of tiny yellow flowers. It reproduces by being pollinated by insects. It is known as a "nurse tree". A coyote's diet is mostly made up of mesquite beans. Native Americans use its resources for many things.

WHO AM I? 
I am a very important desert plant. I feed desert critters with the beans that I grow and I shelter them with my canopy. I drop my leaves and my seed pods during the cold weather months.

WHERE DO I LIVE?
I can be found in the hot deserts of Southwestern North America. I grow in thick forests along streams and river beds.

WHAT DO I EAT?
All I need to live is a water source and lots of warm desert sunshine.

HOW DO I LOOK?
I am the largest of all mesquite species. I can grow up to 30 feet tall with a single trunk or I can sprout many trunks and grow into a shrub. My bark is reddish-brown but becomes gray-brown as I get older. My branches grow both leaves and thorns, as well as hundre
ds of tiny, yellow, bell-shaped flowers. These flowers grown in bunches called catkins.

HOW DO I REPRODUCE?
First, I am pollinated by insects. Then I grow long, flat seed pods in clusters. After a few months, these seed pods fall to the ground.

FUN FACT ABOUT ME?
 I a
m known as a “nurse tree”. Lots of animals benefit from the nutritious, sweet beans that grow from my seed pods. In fact, most of a coyote’s diet is mesquite beans. Other desert plants benefit from the nitrogen that my roots release into the soil. Native Americans used to use my pods, my bark, and my wood for many different things.

ACTIVITIES:
Kindergarten: Print, then color the Velvet Mesquite Coloring Page from the attachments section below. You will need a brown crayon, a green crayon, and a yellow crayon.
1st Grade: Print, then color and label the Velvet Mesquite Coloring Page from the attachments section below. You will need a brown crayon, a green crayon, and a yellow crayon. Label these parts: seed pods, catkins, leaves, thorn, and branch.
2nd/3rd Grade: Print, then complete the Velvet Mesquite Word Search from the attachments section below. Find the solution in the attachments section below.


YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ME BELOW

Blue Planet Biomes
This is a website containing information about different biomes of the earth, including climates, plants, and animals.
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/velvet_mesquite.htm
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Jordan Jones,
Sep 25, 2011, 8:34 PM
Ċ
Jordan Jones,
Sep 25, 2011, 8:34 PM
Ċ
Jordan Jones,
Sep 25, 2011, 8:34 PM
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