Plant Form: Tree

Water Use: Very low

Mature Size: 20-30 ft. tall and wide

Exposure: Full sun

Bloom Time: Spring (March – May)

Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 12°F

Native to: California, Arizona, Mexico

Blue Palo Verde is prized as much for its unique green branches and trunk as it is for masses of lemon-yellow flowers that cover this fast-growing tree in Spring. Its green limbs allow this graceful but thorny tree to continue to carry on some photosynthesis when its small leaves drop due to drought or cold. A popular hybrid of this species known as ‘Desert Museum’ has no spines. Palo Verde is so drought tolerant, it needs very little or no irrigation after becoming established. Prune to showcase its beautiful branching, but avoid pruning heavily at any one time to maintain its growth structure. Desert birds including hummingbirds and verdin love to nest and raise their young in Palo Verde trees. This extremely popular tree provides filtered shade all year, and can be used as a sculptural focal point or shade tree in many garden styles.


Color season is reaching its peak, spend time outside enjoying it!

  • Reset irrigation schedules and increase watering time as temperatures rise
  • Work compost or soil amendments into planting beds to improve moisture retention as summer approaches
  • Plant cold-tender perennials, preferably in pots so winter protection is easier
  • Keep mulch on soil–especially with organic matter such as leaves, bark, or chipped
    wood–to temper the drying and heating effect of the sun; irrigation will be more effective with less frequency and quantity
  • Continue pulling weeds before they form seed heads (if weeds are brown, you waited too long); you’ll have fewer weed problems later