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Home  > Tree Identification  > Blue Paloverde Tree

Blue Paloverde or Blue Palo Verde

Parkinsonia florida or Cercidium floridum

The Blue Paloverde is a small, bushy tree reaching up to 30’ in height. The Blue Paloverde can be distinguished from other green-trunked trees by the bluish tinge to the green bark, its propensity to grow near washes or other areas where it can get a little extra water, and its small, straight spines. Blue Paloverde trees can be found from southern Arizona to northern Sinaloa to Baja California.

The leaves of the Blue Paloverde are bipinnately compound with 1 to 3 pairs of small, oval, bluish green leaflets. There is a spine at each leaf node. This tree commonly sheds its leaves during the dry periods, which may be most of the year, but they will reappear after the summer rains start. The green bark on the trunk and branches allows the plant to photosynthesize even when there are no leaves on the tree.

The flowers of the Blue Paloverde are up to 1” wide and have 5 bright yellow petals. Profuse blooms last for a few weeks beginning sometime from late March and continuing into early May. The fruit is a flat, brown, bean pod which may be curved or straight.

The Blue Paloverde is, by nature, a low-branched tree. Unless it is trimmed it will take on a rounded form, with branches reaching down to ground level. When in flower the tree becomes a beautiful globe of impressive, brilliant yellow blooms.

The Blue Paloverde has seen increased use as a street tree. Flowers cover the branches in the spring and the blue-green bark on the trunk and branches provides interest throughout the remainder of the year.

Blue Paloverde characteristics:

Form: Low-branched, rounded

Fruit: Flat, brown, bean pod with hard seeds

Leaves: Scattered, bipinnately compound leaves, 1 - 1.5" long

Mature height: 25 - 30’
Preferred soil pH: 5.5 - 9.0

Summer foliage: Bluish-Green.

Tree Bark: Thin, bluish-green, maturing to scaly brown

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10


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