A reliable source of food and shelter even in the severest droughts, the mesquite tree sustained American Indians in the Southwest for centuries. Today, mesquite is popular for barbecuing, woodworking, furniture making, flooring, sculpture, jewelry, and food products ranging from honey to jelly and syrup. Even ranchers, who once fought to eradicate mesquite, have come to value its multiple uses on well-managed rangeland. In this book written especially for a general readership, one of the world's leading authorities on mesquite presents a wealth of information about its natural history and commercial, agricultural, and woodworking uses. Ken Rogers describes the life cycle, species, and wide distribution of the mesquite, which is native or naturalized not only in the Southwest and Mexico, but also in India, Africa, Australia, South America, and Hawaii. He discusses the many consumer and woodworker uses of mesquite at length-even giving instructions for laying a mesquite wood floor and making mesquite bean jelly. He also looks into the ways that people are using mesquite in nature, from rangeland management in the Southwest to desertification prevention in arid countries.