Monday, April 28, 2014

More spring blossom

Another tree that I've never seen in full bloom out here before is the palo verde, These beautiful yellow flowered trees are all species of the genus Parkinsonia. The common species here is P. aculeata, the Mexican palo verde. The common name means green wood and refers to the green colouring of both the young twigs and to a certain extent the older branches and trunk. There is also a hybrid called 'Desert Museum' that is vigorous, upright, thornless and has larger flowers. Like so many trees out here, the palo verdes are overpruned and often at the wrong time of the year. We have one in our front yard which is maintained by contractors and was sadly pruned in the autumn but despite this has still produced a fair bit of flower.

Palo verde in a landscape scheme - pruned
Palo verde growing wild - no pruning - a mass of flower

Regular readers my recall me reviewing the garden at Sunnylands last year and expressing some mis-givings (polite way of saying criticisms!) Recently I returned, this year a little later than last, to view the palo verdes and I have to say that walking through these many trees in full bloom was a lovely experience.

Palo verdes at Sunnylands - probably the cultivar 'Desert Museum'

1 comment:

  1. Gold flowers, the desert blue sky - I never tire of it.

    I think your area's only wild Palo Verde is Parkinsonia florida (formerly Cercidium floridum) / Blue Palo Verde. That one unpruned by the road is nice, not to mention with just slight thinning and pruning the bottom some, can be a nice small lucky devils. They freeze and die here every 10-20 years. P. aculeata is likely only from volunteers off others' plants, as it's weedy. I think it only ranges as far west as the Big Bend valleys of Texas, not California or Arizona.

    But we can grow 'Desert Museum' in warmer parts of town.

    Glad you got to witness a spring cycle! Leaving once it gets to be summer? I hope you can stay - the desert needs people lwho care about gardens more than gravel and horrible maintenance on what few plants they have.