Parkinsonia florida – Blue Paloverde
Scientific Name: Parkinsonia florida
Synonym: Cercidium floridum
Common Names: Blue Paloverde, Blue Palo Verde
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Riparian. It commonly grows in desert washes.
Flower Color: Bright yellow
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: To 30 feet (9.1 m) tall
Description: The flowers are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and have 5 bright yellow petals. The flowers are followed by flat, brown, bean pods. The leaves are bipinnately compound with 1 to 3 pairs of small, oval, bluish green leaflets. There is a spine at each leaf node. The photosynthesizing bark is smooth and blue-green in color. The trees are a spectacular brilliant yellow color when in full bloom.
The similar Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia aculeata) has flowers with an orange top petal and long, shoelace-like leaves, while Yellow Paloverde (Parkinsonia microphylla) has lighter yellow flowers with a white upper petal.
Allergenic – The pollen is a mild allergen.
Edible – The sweet flowers are edible either fresh or cooked.
Legal Status – Protected Native Plant (Salvage Assessed)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Parkinsonia L. – paloverde
Species: Parkinsonia florida (Benth. ex A. Gray) S. Watson – blue paloverde
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