Mexican Palo Verde or Jerusalem Thorn is a fast-growing graceful-looking thorny shrub for poor soils with unusual green bark and a long blooming period. It can be single-stemmed or form multiple trunks and because of its fine-textured foliage, it is good for filtering sun to create a pleasantly dappled shade. Normally it will grow 12-15 ft but can reach 36 ft.
Season of Interest: Spring
Soil Type: Saline, Sand
USDA Hardiness Zone (°F): 8 (10 to 20 °F), 9 (20 to 30 °F), 10 (30 to 40 °F)
Climate: Dry, Sub-tropical, Tropical
Sunlight: Full Sun
Common Name: Jerusalem Thorn
A spectacular display of clustered pea-like flowers is yellow-orange and fragrant 20 mm in diameter growing from a long slender stalk in groups of eight to ten. Blooming starts in spring and makes look like a giant yellow bouquet and has been long cultivated as an ornamental. After flowering a tan fruit pod forms with a papery sheath. Native Americans harvested the seeds of Jerusalem thorn which they sun-dried for storage and parched over dry heat before eating.
It is very drought, heat, and saline tolerant once established and does require a full sun location. Hardy to at least 20-25° F, USDA zones 8-11. Native to desert grasslands and canyons in Mexico and the SW U.S.