AZ Arboretums

Cercidium floridum

Blue palo verdeCommon: Blue palo verde
Family: Leguminosae
Origin: Native to deserts of Southern California, Arizona, Baja California and northern Mexico
Sunset Zones: 10-14, 18-20
Temperature: Hardy to 12F
Light: Full sun
Soil: Most soils, well drained. Prefers sandy soil.
Water: Regular water.

Sheds leaves as defense mechanism against water shortage.-spaced irrigation. Street, patio or garden tree; desert gardens or lawns; silhouette plant. Good nightscape plant.

Use in planters and beddings. Urban parks and streets, parking lots. First palo verde to blossom in spring. Naturally low branching habit, rounded crown.

Shows intricate pattern of bluish-green spiny branches, branchlets, and leafstalks. Leaves, each with one to three pairs of smooth, tiny leaflets, shed early, leaving leafstalks to provide lightly filtered shade.

Bark and foliage are blue green, but lower trunks of older trees are rough and gray. In spring, 2 to 4-1/2 in.-long clusters of small, bright yellow flowers almost hide the branches. Followed by numerous 2-3 inch seed pods.

Like most members of pea family, best raised from seed. Sometimes attracted by larvae of palo verde beetle.

Remove dead branches to groom; cut out infestations of mistletow or witches broom. All species attract birds; litter of flowers, beans and seeds. Tree is short-lived, from 20 to 40 years