The Ghaf tree, which scientific name is Prosopis Cineraria, 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.