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Parkinsonia aculeata     
Mexican palo verde   
Fabaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: low, rounded, multistemmed tree
Seasonality: deciduous or semi-deciduous
Size: 15-20ft tall with equal spread; weed-like growth rate
Leaves: bipinnately compound with prominent (needle-like) midrib, 6-9in long; leaflets on midrib may or may not be present
Flowers: showy yellow flowers, throat has orange-reddish color; sporadic bloom period
Mexican palo verde
Parkinsonia aculeata
Fruit: tan pod with papery sheath, 2-4in long or greater, constricted between seed, end tapers to point
Stems/Trunks: thorns on young growth, green trunk becomes gray and woody with age
Range/Origin: West Indies and South America; naturalized throughout southern U.S.
Hardiness: to 18°F or lower


close-up of leaves
leafless midribs on
Parkinsonia aculeata


least desirable of the Palo verde type trees

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This page was first created August 24, 2001 and last modified March 16, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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