By Rob Hallberg

By the time you read this, there will be thousands of bright yellow Palo Verde trees flowering throughout the metroplex. Most Tucsonans welcome the beautiful blooming of the Arizona state tree as a bellwether of Spring, while some of us dread the pollen that comes with it.

Palo Verde is synonymous with bright yellow, flowering trees known for their unique green bark. The green coloring is from chlorophyll, created by the Palo Verde through photosynthesis. Not surprisingly, Palo Verde means “green stick” in Spanish.

There are two types of Palo Verde. The Blue Palo Verde is usually spotted near water sources, has a blue-green trunk and can reach a height of 30 feet. The Foothills Palo Verde is mostly found on rocky slopes and has a yellow-green trunk. It can live for over 100 years and grows about 20 feet high.

The seeds and flowers are edible, although I have not tried either. Pick the pods while still green and eat them as you would peas or edamame. I have been told they are sweet. The flowers can be sprinkled on salads.

About author View all posts

Guest Author