Max Licher @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants
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Max Licher @
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Max Licher @
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Description: Evergreen. An evergreen tree with a widely spreading crown that can extend to 30 feet across. Ironwood is one of the denser woods in the world.
Identification notes: Broad-crowned tree with gray appearance due to grayish-green, leathery, compound, pinnate leaves; leaves have 4 to 12 leaftlets; branches are spiny; flowers are white to pink to purple; fruit pods contain black seeds.
Height: To 30 feet     Width: To 30 feet


Habitat Description: Found in desert washes and on low hills often in gravelly to silty soil below.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Riparian
Elevation: 0 - 3000 feet


Color: White, pink, purple   Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters    Tubular: Y   Flowering Period: Apr - Jun
Description: Flowers are pea-like, hairy with 5 unequal petals to 1/2 inch wide in short clusters.


Leaf Color: Grayish-green   Type: Compound   Shape: Round or oval   Margin: Smooth   Attachment: Opposite   Hairs: Bottom of leaves
Description: Leaves are finely-haired below, pinnately compound to 2 inches long. Leaflets are oblong to 3/4 inch long. At the base of each leaf is a pair of 1/2 inch long, slightly curved spines.


Color: Brown   Type: Pod   Description: Pod is hairy and bean-like to 2-1/2 inches long containing 1 to 5 black seeds.


Bark Color: Gray   Bark Texture (Mature): Shreddy or peeling   Bark and Branch Description: Gray and smooth on young trees, shreddy, fissured and dark gray with age.
Spines, thorns or prickles: N

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
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