Scientific Name: Parkinsonia microphylla
Synonym: Cercidium microphyllum
Common Names: Yellow Paloverde, Foothill Paloverde, Foothill Palo Verde, Littleleaf Paloverde, Littleleaf Palo Verde
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert. These trees are very common and widespread in desert areas here.
Flower Color: Buttery yellow and white
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: To 25 feet (7.6 m) tall
Description: The flowers are 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) wide and have 5 petals. The top petal is white, and the other 4 petals are yellow. The leaves are bipinnately compound with 5 to 7 pairs of tiny, oval leaflets. The branches are spine-tipped. Some of the branches are shed during times of drought, and there are typically branch scars on the trunk and fallen branches under the trees. The photosynthesizing bark is smooth and yellowish green in color.
The similar Blue Paloverde (Parkinsonia florida) has solid yellow flowers, while Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia aculeata) has flowers with an orange top petal and long, shoelace-like leaves.
Allergenic – The pollen is an allergen.
Edible – The large, green seeds are edible. They are delicious when eaten raw and look and taste very much like sweet, tender garden peas. The sweet-tasting flowers are edible either raw 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 microphylla Torr. – yellow paloverde
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