A thorny small tree or large shrub to about 12 m (40 ft.) tall, native to dry regions in tropical America but popular worldwide for its many useful features. The seed pods are traditionally ground into flour products (pinole) and a mesquite wine can be fermented from them; the fernlike leaves are used as forage; the yellowish, bottlebrush-like flowers are popular with bees that produce a superior, fragrant honey from their nectar; the wood can be used for a variety of purposes, most notably for smoking food and, in the form of charcoal, for barbecuing; the gum is used as an emulsifying agent; and the plant is much used in traditional medicine. It is also an excellent ornamental shade tree for desert areas even though a bit messy. Cultivation is very easy and Mesquite will grow with little attention and very little water in temperate as well as tropical climates from USDA Zones 7 to 11. Seeds should be scarified or immersed in boiling water for 30 seconds to break dormancy, then soaked at room temperature for a day. In some countries Mesquite is considered a noxious weed and the importation of seeds may be restricted.