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Parkinsonia florida

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

Cercidium floridum Benth. ex A. Gray ssp. floridum

Cercidium floridum Benth. ex A. Gray

Blue Palo Verde, Blue Paloverde

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusParkinsoniaNamed for John Parkinson, author, botanist, Apothecary of London and king’s herbalist to James I
SpeciesfloridaEither (1) free flowering, producing abundant flowers; or (2) bright

About plant names...

Blue Palo Verde is a native of the Sonoran Desert.

Identification: This species is found in desert areas, typically near rivers or desert wash areas that receive at least intermittent water. It reaches 15-30' (4.6-9.1 m) in height. Leaves are bipinnate, with leaflets ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) long. It is found in association with honey mesquite, smoketree, ironwood, desert willow, and catclaw acacia.

This table compares blue palo verde with foothills palo verde.


Parkinsonia florida (Blue Palo Verde, Blue Paloverde)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA

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Parkinsonia florida

Parkinsonia microphylla
Common Name

Blue Palo Verde

Foothills Palo Verde
Plant 15-30' (4.6-9.1 m). Trunk and branches are bluish green, photosynthetic. 10-20' (3-6.1 m) high, and about the same around. Bark is smooth and yellow-green in color.


Bright yellow, blooming earlier than foothills palo verde. Photo by Stan Shebs.


Yellow. Photo by aspidoscelis (Flickr).
Leaves Bipinnate, with leaflets ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) long; often leafless. In small pinnate stalks up to 1" (2.5 cm), containing a row of tiny, round leaflets. Dropped entirely during droughts.
Fruit A flat pod with one or more seeds, brown, turning white with age, up to 3" (7.6 cm) long. 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) seed pods contain up to five seeds.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Creosote bush scrub, below 3600' (1.1 km) Mohave and Sonoran deserts of Arizona, California, and Baja Mexico; at up to 4000' (1.2 km)
Type Wild Wild


Parkinsonia florida (Blue Palo Verde, Blue Paloverde)

Flowering blue paloverde. By Stan Shebs.

Online References:

Parkinsonia florida at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert

Parkinsonia florida on Discover Life

Parkinsonia florida as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension

Parkinsonia florida on www.treesofnorthamerica.net

Parkinsonia florida on CalPhotos

Parkinsonia florida at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Parkinsonia florida at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Parkinsonia florida on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Parkinsonia florida at Arid Zone Trees (PDF)

Parkinsonia florida at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library

Parkinsonia florida description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


Parkinsonia florida (Blue Palo Verde, Blue Paloverde)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Parkinsonia florida (Blue Palo Verde, Blue Paloverde)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)


About this map...