Desert Museum Palo Verde

Parkinsonia x
Category Tree
Size 25' x 25'
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Season Spring
Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Fast
Hardiness 15°F


This semi-deciduous, “thorn-less” tree has characteristics of the foothills, blue, and Mexican palo verde. It is quite similar to the other Parkinsonia species, growing rapidly to heights of twenty to twenty-five feet with an equal spread. This tree has small, bright green foliage and an attractive, smooth, green bark. Brilliant masses of yellow blossoms appear in the spring and again intermittently into the summer if given extra water. The flower blossoms on this species of palo verde are larger than those of the parent trees. This hybrid produces all of the excellent traits of the other palo verde trees.  Use this tree to cast light shade on patios and porches. It was hybridized at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, and is a genetic cross between Parkinsonia microphylla, Parkinsonia florida, and Parkinsonia aculeata.

It is hardy to about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit or lower, produces lightly filtered shade and is a great tree for attracting birds and butterflies. This species likes full sun and plenty of reflected heat, is drought-resistant, but needs regular irrigation, particularly through the first few years of growth. Do not over-water because it could grow too fast, become top-heavy and the roots may not be able to support the tree. Protect the lower young bark from javelina, rabbits, or deer. This fast-growing tree produces some litter and debris. Prune to enhance its form and keep its upright appearance as a magnificent shade or specimen tree in parking lots, on school playgrounds, in commercial and home landscapes.
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