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Palo verde - question.

Steve Hinkson sphinkson at worldnet.att.net
Tue Sep 28 01:29:57 EST 1999

> I'm wondering if anyone can help educate me on the biology, ecology, and
>   nomenclature of Palo Verde trees. Is this name applied only to Parkinsonia
>   spp.? The trees in question are growing in Baja California, if that helps at
>   all.

No, the name applies to another genus, as well.  In Southwestern Horticulture,
Palo verde is used as much for the genus Cercidium as it is for the viscously
thorny Parkinsonias.  The Cercidiums are much the better trees to shade
zerophytes, because they aren't nearly as messy.  (Parkinsonias drop thousands
of petioles that are a foot or more long, and create a straw-like ground cover,
that can be hard to remove from under plantings.)

Cercidium floridum is a native to Baja, and Southern California, and goes by the
common name
"Mexican Blue Palo Verde"
The Parkinsonia look-alike is Cercidium praecox, but it hates cold.
It's a desert native from Northern mexico south into South America.  It goes by
the common names:
"Sonoran Palo Verde, and Green Trunked Palo Verde"
The last Palo Verde in the group is a wide spread species that's native to Baja,
as well as Southwestern US, and down through most of Mexico.  It's C.
microphyllum. The "Little leaf Palo Verde" or "Foothills Palo Verde".

hope I helped
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