Parkinsonia florida – Blue Paloverde

Parkinsonia florida - Blue Paloverde, Blue Palo Verde (flower)

Parkinsonia florida - Blue Paloverde, Blue Palo Verde (beans)

Parkinsonia florida - Blue Paloverde, Blue Palo Verde

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Parkinsonia florida

Synonym: Cercidium floridum

Common Names: Blue Paloverde, Blue Palo Verde

Plant Characteristics

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.

Special Characteristics

Allergenic – The pollen is a mild allergen.

Edible – The sweet flowers are edible either fresh or cooked.

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Assessed)


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Parkinsonia L. – paloverde
Species: Parkinsonia florida (Benth. ex A. Gray) S. Watson – blue paloverde

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map