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Caesalpinia cacalaco

In stock

5 gallon; 15 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Sonoran Desert

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

FullSun; Reflected Heat



Flower color:

Flower season:



Late Fall-Winter

To shape and thin




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


Native to the southern Sonoran Desert, Cascalote is one of my favorite trees. It does have thorns like most all desert trees but is really only an issue when it is young. The older trunks and larger branches have varying degrees of knobby spurs and the young growth is more cat claw like. It produces large spikes of yellow flowers at the branch tips mostly during winter but can bloom sporadically year-round, followed by copper-colored seedpods giving this tree interest year-round. An evergreen, with glossy green compound leaves, that produces the best mulch in my opinion. It does not require fertilizer as it is a nitrogen fixer like all legumes. Grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. Does not tolerate cold temperatures, flowers drop at 30 degrees. The tree itself can be damaged by extended temperatures in the low 20s.
They are also known as Mexican Bush Bird.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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