Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile 32: 363-370 (1971)

Una nueva especie de Prosopis para el Norte de Chile

Carlos Muñoz


Durante los últimos anos algunas entidades gubernamentales y universitarias han llamado la atención sobre las expectativas en el cultivo del tamarugo, Frosopis tamarugo P h i l . , especie que tendría gran porvenir desde el punto de vista forestal y principalmente ganadero para la provincia de Tarapacá (Araya 1964, Astudillo 1967,Sudzuki 1969, W e n t 1952) Este interés nos llevó a visitar nuevamente el norte de nuestro país,


Various unpublished studies carried out by the Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion and the University of Chile during the last S-4 years have called attention to the special properties of a tree growing on the Pampa del Tamarugal. T h e species is Prosopis tamarugo P h i l , (section Cavenicarpa Bk.) which is endemic to the Tarapaca Province in northern Chile. The special properties of this tree which has excited so much interest are its ability to produce large crops of fruits which have supported a stacking rate of sheep higher than that achieved in any p a rt of the country, despite the complete lack of rainfall. During the coune of vegetation and floristic studies within the region seven species of Prosopis were encountered. Among them, one appeared to be a new entity which the autor proposes to call Prosopis burkartii nov. sp. It appears that the new species is related both to P. tamarugo and P. strombulifera. Anatomical, cariological and palinologlcal studies axe under way. Forage value is limited due to growth habit and low fruit production b u t it may have a place as a psammophila and on salty soils. Prosopis burkartii is located within the key of Prosopis species occurring in Chile and an hypothesis of origin is discussed. Photographs and an analytical drawing are included.