Prosopis Cineraria, known as Jammi, Shami, Kandi, Khejri Tree, Jand, or Ghaf, is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae.
The Ghaf tree is a small to medium-sized thorny tree, with slender branches armed with conical thorns and with light bluish-green foliage. The leaflets are dark green with thin casting of light shade.
The tree is evergreen or nearly so and produces new flush leaves before summer. The flowers, small in size and yellow or creamy white in color, appear from March to May after the new flush of leaves. The seedpods are formed soon thereafter and grow rapidly in size, attaining full size after about two months.
It is well adapted to browsing by animals, such as camels and goats. Young plants assume a cauliflower-like, bushy appearance in areas open to goat browsing.
Prosopis Cineraria requires strong light, and dense shade will kill seedlings. The crown (aboveground portion) grows slowly.
The root system of Prosopis Cineraria is long and well developed, securing a firm footing for the plant and allowing it to obtain moisture from groundwater. Taproot penetration up to 35 m (115 ft) in soil depth has been reported. Like other members of the family Fabaceae, symbiotic bacteria found in its root nodules allow it to fix nitrogen in the soil, improving soil fertility.
Arabic Names: Ghaf, Harb, Awd, Hadheeb, Shibhan
Botanical Description: Evergreen tree up to 25m tall; trunk un-branched for several meters; branches droop, giving the canopy a rounded appearance with short triangular spines between leaves nodes; bark is fissured or cracked.
Leaves & Flowers: Grey-green; divided into two pinnae, each with 7-16 pairs of leaflets with pointed tips. Tiny flowers on cylindrical spikes. Flowering twice a year from March to May and from October to January.
Fruits: Pods cylindrical; slightly curved; yellow to reddish brown. The pods (fruits) form soon after flowering and grow rapidly in size within two months time it reach the full pods size.
Habitat: Sand plains, dunes and wadi banks. Common and widespread in the north-eastern part of the UAE.
Globally: Extremely drought tolerant, growing in areas with less than 75mm annual rain fall and temperatures of up to 50°C. Grows at altitude from sea level up to 600m above sea level