The Palo Verde Tree

Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 04:19 pm

The Palo Verde tree (Cercidium-Parkinsonia) is also known as the Desert Museum Palo Verde. It is an exceptional tree for the Southwest.  It is a Hybrid of the common Palo Verde tree that is native to the Sonoran and Southwest desert. Palo Verde Means Green Stick in Spanish.

 Flowering Palo Verde

It produces a mass of beautiful small yellow flowers in late spring.  They are native to the Sonoran Desert and thrive all around the southwest from South California to southern Texas.

The Flowers

Detailed photo of a blooming Palo Verde tree in spring

Once established it will grow to about 30-40 ft. tall and 50 ft. wide.  A drought-tolerant tree that is durable and in fact can live up to 400 years.

It also provides lots of shade during the hot summer months.  A good tree for desert or xeriscaping landscape.

It gets its name from the year-round green bark on the tree.  In Spanish Palo Verde means “Green Stick”.

The Palo Verde Tree
The Bark of the Palo Verde Tree


Information on the Desert Museum Palo Verde Tree

Desert Museum Palo Verde Tree
A nice looking Desert Museum

A magnificent Palo Verde at full colorful bloom.

Palo Verde Tree
The same tree in front of a Southwest-style desert landscape home.


The true native Palo Verde

The Foothills Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphyllagrows wild in the desert southwest.  You will see them around arroyos and the foothills of many undeveloped neighborhoods.  They are smaller in size about 20 ft. tall and ft wide.  The same yellow and small leaves will drop when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Problems with this tree

Spider mites love dry hot conditions, and this is where most Palo Verde trees thrive.  At the first signs of spider mites spray with neem oil to kill these small insects.  The Palo Verde root borer is another pest that will damage this tree.  The borer comes from a large black antennae beetle that resembles a cockroach.  The larvae that will actually drill a hole in the tree and damage the tree eventually kill it if not treated in time.  A good borer insecticide will kill this insect.  Learn more about Insects and Diseases on plants. 

More Southwest trees for landscaping – Southwest Trees.

Do you have questions or want to comment on this article? We would love to hear from you.

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