Alphabetical Plant Listing

Parkinsonia praecox (Palo Brea)

Palo Brea, Sonoran Palo Verde, Cercidium praecox, Caesalpinia praecox, Cercidium australe, Cercidium goldmannii, Cercidium plurifoliatum, Cercidium spinosum, Cercidium viride


Providing year-round interest, Parkinsonia praecox (Palo Brea) is a majestic, semi-evergreen tree with a loose, spreading, umbrella-shaped canopy. Turning and twisting, its branches are gracefully interwoven. The foliage of small pinnately compound blue-green leaves remains on the tree most of the year. The smooth, bright chartreuse-green bark of the trunk and branches is very distinctive. This unique trait allows the tree to appear evergreen, even when the leaves have been shed in winter or summer drought. In mid to late spring, a profusion of brilliant yellow flowers adorned with orange dots cover the entire tree. Long-lived (up to 150 years old), Palo Brea is a great tree for large, open desert gardens where its architectural qualities can be admired. Good as a shade tree.

  • Grows up to 20-25 ft. tall and wide (6-8 m). Palo Brea grows about 36 in. per year (90 cm).
  • A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in deep, fertile or rocky, well-drained soils. Needs little to no supplemental water once established in desert landscape gardens.
  • Fertilize young trees annually. Established trees do not need fertilizer.
  • Virtually pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for palo verde beetles.
  • Prune as needed to reinforce the structure and form of the tree. Periodic thinning is the most desirable method of pruning.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native from the Sonoran Desert to South America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Spread 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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(c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Climate Zones 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Spread 20' – 25' (6m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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