Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Short Look at Palo Verde

And now we come to the beautiful Palo Verde (Parkinsonia) trees.  Parkinsonia includes a number of different species and at least one important hybrid.  They are among the most lovely of the native Sonoran desert trees, small and graceful, with a spectacular spring display of vivid yellow flowers.

desert tree, native plant, palo verde, parkinsonia, low desert

In the wild they can sometimes be seen forming large roadside thickets; additionally they are currently one of the trees of choice for town planting.  This use has been made even more desirable by the development of the widely-sold hybrid "Desert Museum".  Said (The New Western Garden Book, see bibliography) to result from a combination of P. aculeata, P. microphyllum, and P. floridum, this variety has the advantage of being thornless (unlike P. aculeata), large-flowered, and cleanly, since it produces little litter from seedpods.

desert tree, yellow flowers, palo verde, parkinsonia, low desert, native plant
The different varieties are generally small (20 to 35 ft tall); some are faster growing than others.  "Desert Museum" and P. floridum are said to grow quickly; P. microphyllum is a slow grower.  The common name derives from the green bark color, which gives a pleasant hue even when the tree is out of leaf.  The leaves themselves are tiny; they and the many twigs provide only filtered shade.

desert tree, palo verde, parkinsonia, low desert, native plant\

Happy with lots of sunlight and scanty water, these are classic plants for the desert garden.

palo verde, parkinsonia, desert tree, native plant, low desert, yellow flowers

No comments:

Post a Comment