Blue palo verde tree is easily distinguished by its blue-green bark and brilliant yellow flower display. It can grow to 25 feet tall with a 25 foot spread. Its tiny leaves are cold and drought deciduous but, due to its blue-green color, it looks evergreen from a distance. Blue palo verde tree is naturally multi-trunked with a low hanging canopy. Known for its fantastic mid-spring flower display, it is native to Southern Arizona. Formerly, blue palo verde was known as Cercidium floridum. Recently renamed Parkinsonia florida, blue palo verde tree is often hybridized with other “Parkinsonia” species producing cultivars with remarkable differences in form and character.
Blue palo verde tree should be planted in full or reflected sun and in soil with good drainage. This tree requires substantial pruning in the early stages to develop a “walk under” canopy. Prune only in warm weather. Cold weather pruning causes its limbs to die back and may introduce infection. Although palo verde beetles are commonly found in and around this tree, they cause little harm as long as the tree is healthy. Water young trees weekly in the summer; monthly in winter. Once established, blue palo verde trees survive on low amounts of moisture. Water established blue palo verde only during periods of extended dry weather. Supplemental irrigation will greatly increase growth rate and canopy density.