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Parkinsonia florida (Blue paloverde)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Parkinsonia florida

Parkinsonia florida (Benth. ex A. Gray) S. Watson

Blue Paloverde

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Cercidium floridum, Cercidium floridum ssp. floridum

USDA Symbol: PAFL6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Spiny, small tree, leafless most of the year, with a short blue-green trunk and widely spreading, very open crown.

Although leaves are absent most of the year, photosynthesis, the manufacture of food, is performed by the blue-green branches and twigs. Native Americans cooked and ate the immature beanlike pods and ground the mature seeds for meal. Twigs and pods of paloverdes serve as browse for wildlife and emergency food for livestock; the seeds are consumed by rodents and birds; and the flowers are a source of honey. This species is useful for erosion control along drainages. The Spanish common name, paloverde, means "green tree" or "green pole."


From the Image Gallery

22 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


Native Distribution: Central and S. Arizona, SE. California, and NW. Mexico; 4000' (1219 m).
Native Habitat: Along washes and valleys and sometimes on lower slopes of deserts and desert grasslands.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Parkinsonia florida in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Parkinsonia florida in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Parkinsonia florida


Record Modified: 2022-11-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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