It would be a shame if I let the whole month of June go by and not once include a photo of my favorite green tree, the Palo Verde. Translated it means just that, “green tree or stick.” They are a native plant to the Sonoran Desert.
If you want to learn more about the Palo Verde tree.. I put together this little blog entry (with photos, of course)…
The main thing about a Palo Verde plant is its green trunk and branches. If it ever gets too dry, it can shed its leaves and the photosynthesis process will work on the trunk and branches. (If its really dry, it will shed its twigs, as well.)
There are two types of Palo Verde: Blue Palo Verde and Foothill Palo Verde.
The Blue Palo Verde grow in washes since they need a lot of water and top out at 40 feet. Their twigs and young branches are bluish-green, as are the leaves, which are larger than the foothill variety. Blue Palo Verde seeds are slightly larger and flatter, with thicker, harder shells.
The Foothill variety tops out at 20 feet but can leave to 100 years, even as long as 400 years. Both have twice pinnate leaves (leaves with two stems and opposing leaflets on each stem), with the foothill species having more abundant leaves growing on longer stems. Foothill Palo Verdes have more yellowish bark and duller yellow/white flowers.
Like many of the desert trees, its leaves are very small.
This is the seed pod from the Foothills Palo Verde – note the “waist” between seeds. Blue Palo Verde pods are flatter with thicker shells.