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Mexican Palo Verde

Parkinsonia aculeata

In stock

1 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Sonoran Desert

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:



Spring - Summer

Trees grow fast and have lots of dieback in the canopy that must be maintained




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


A small round-headed tree of 15-20 feet tall with open lacy foliage that yields a pleasant dappled shade. Its trunk and branches have yellow-green bark with fine-textured foliage. Showy, fragrant yellow flowers with throats having orange-reddish color spots have a peak bloom period in later spring and early summer with scattered bloom year-round. After flowering a tan fruit pod forms with a papery sheath. Branches are messy and thorny. The stems are covered in sharp spines, protecting the plant from herbivory. Good for filtering sun to create light shade and very drought tolerant once established. Plant in full sun in most any soil but grows best in a sandy well drained soil. Tolerates alkaline conditions and extreme drought but will also grow in a lawn if soil is well drained. Beware - flowers produce copious seed pods reseeding prolifically. Has naturalized in low desert washes in California; for this reason there is some concern about it being an invasive plant

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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