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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Psorothamnus spinosus (Gray) Barneby
Smoketree, Smokethorn, Smoke tree, Indigobush, Smokethorn dalea, Corona de Cristo
Synonyms: Dalea spinosa
USDA Symbol: pssp3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Smokethorn or smoke tree is a spiny, intricately branched, nearly leafless shrub or small tree with an overall gray appearance except when covered with a profusion of violet or indigo-blue flower spikes. The leaves of this 10-20 ft. plant fall early in the season. Spiny, much-branched shrub or small tree with short, crooked trunk, compact or irregular crown of smoky-gray branches, and small leaves; leafless most of the year.
The common names describe the hazy appearance of the leafless plants when seen from a distance. The smoky-gray twigs produce most of the food, by photosynthesis, since the plants have leaves for only a few weeks each year. Showy when covered with flowers, Smoke Tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental in frost-free regions.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
AZ , CA , NV Native Distribution:
AZ & s. CA, s. to adjacent Mex. Native Habitat:
Desert washes below 1500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
PropagationSeed Collection: Collect the pods when they are beginning to dry. Separate seeds from pods before sowing or storage. Fumigate seeds before storage.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require no pretreatment for germination, but scarification may be helpful.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff