Parkinsonia floridum
Common name: 
Blue Palo Verde
Pronunciation: 
PAR-kin-son-EE-a FLOR-ih-dum
Family: 
Fabaceae
Genus: 
Synonyms: 
Cercidium florida
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Drought-deciduous, small tree or large shrub, often with multiple stems, typically to 25 ft (7.6 m) tall but may reach twice that, leafless most of the year, twigs bear small, stiff spines at the nodes; bark is smooth, thin, blue-green, photosynthetic on branches.  Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, about 2.5 cm long, usually only 2 leaflets, but as many as 4 or 6; leaves usually appear only after summer rains.  Flowers are bright yellow and about 12 mm wide, 5 petals, the upper most spotted with red, in rounded clusters 4-12 cm long.  Fruits are straw-colored, flat pods, 4-10 cm long, each holding 1-8 flat seeds.
  • Sun, well-drained soil, little or no additional water required after establishment.  
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 8b     Native range extends from central and southwestern Arizona into southeastern California and into western Sonora, Mexico, most commonly found in desert washes.
  • Parkinsonia florida is now considered the accepted name and Cercidium floridum a synonym.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, small tree

    plant habit, small tree

  • plant habit, large tree

    plant habit, large tree

  • plant habit, large tree

    plant habit, large tree

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • leafless and leafy branches

    leafless and leafy branches