Palo verde

Lest you think every flower in the desert is red, I give you the Mexican Palo Verde (literally “green stick”), the closest thing we have to a tree in this part of the Sonoran Desert. The Palo Verde gets its name from it’s chlorophyll-rich bark. In the spring, the Palo Verde is a showy profusion of yellow blossoms and tiny green leaves. As the hot, dry summer comes, it saves water by shedding everything that might evaporate moisture into the dry air, leaving only its bare branches to generate energy from the sun.

Palo Verdes have the shape of a willow, with long, slender branches that bend down to the ground and move freely with the breeze.

Palo verde tree in bloom

Palo verde tree in bloom


Palo verde bark


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  1. Wow, that is very different from our trees around here.

  2. I drove across most of Arizona today on my way to see my mom & sister in Texas. Because you posted these pictures, I actually noticed Palo Verde trees in the center divide of the highway before and after Tucson. I never would have paid any attention otherwise.

    Thanks! You brightened up my drive.

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