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Blue Palo Verde
Parkinsonia florida
  
About Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida) 13 Nurseries Carry This Plant Blue Palo Verde (Cercidium floridum) is a native tree in the Fabaceae (Legume) famly that grows in the Sonoran Desert region of California, Arizona and Mexico. It tends to grow in washes, bajadas and flood plains, at elevations from 0-3600 feet. It is also one of the most popular trees for desert gardens. The Palo Verdes were formerly classified in the genus Cercidium, and some sources may still refer to it that way. The leaves are small and readily dropped in response to dryness. The common name refers to the green bark of the trunk and limbs which are capable of low-level photosynthesis when the tree is leafless. The attractive flowers are yellow-gold and appear in spring but can also appear in response to summer rainfall. The seed pod resembles Mesquite and is valued by numerous animals. The seed pods were also ground and eaten by native people, but it is said to be less tasty than Mesquite. The tree has spines on the newer, slender branches. A popular hybrid of this species is known as 'Desert Museum' and has no spines. Parkinsonia florida is fast growing and drought tolerant. Supplemental watering encourages faster growth but may result in weak limbs and shortened life span. It is recommended to reduce or discontinue supplemental water after the tree becomes established. In recent years Palo Verde has become more popular for non-desert gardens and appears to perform well in many settings.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree

Size
Size
26 ft tall
20 ft wide

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Flower Color
Flower Color
Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Numerous insects are attracted to the flower, as well as hummingbirds. Desert birds such as verdin and hummingbirds like to nest in Palo Verde. The seed pods are valued by many small mammals.

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 4 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Extremely Low, Very Low, Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Typically sandy or decomposed granite

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Maintenance
Maintenance
Can be pruned to shape at any time, but caution should be used due to the spines

Propagation
Propagation?
By seed. In suitable habitat it tends to produce numerous seedlings

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7, 8*, 9*, 10, 11, 12*, 13*, 14*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Mesas, bajadas, canyons, washes, and flood plains of the Sonoran Desert

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.8" - 12.3", Summer Precipitation: 0.21" - 1.96", Coldest Month: 48.1" - 64.2", Hottest Month: 76.2" - 89.7", Humidity: 2.51" - 42.79", Elevation: -232" - 3410"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Cercidium floridum ssp. floridum,Cercidium floridium
Common Names: Blue Paloverde, California Hedgenettle


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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