Saturday, April 04, 2015

Palo Verde Glory

This is the best time of year in the Sonoran Desert: Spring, lasting from sometime in February to usually the end of April or even into May. We looked at some wildflowers in the previous post, and I'll post pictures of cactus blooms soon, but today I want to highlight the amazing and startling palo verde blossoming, which has just begun and will last another couple of weeks.

Everywhere you go in town and out of it, particularly in the foothills, you will be awed by the brilliant displays of palo verdes in bloom.

These gorgeous trees were flowering alongside the Rillito River
There are two main types of palo verdes--the Blue Palo Verde, which blooms first, and the Foothills Palo Verde, which blooms a week or so later. The Blue blossoms are a deeper yellow color, like the filling in a lemon pie. The Foothills is paler, more like lemon pie with meringue. The difference is caused by the fact that the petals on a Blue Palo Verde are all yellow, while the Foothills tree has one white petal on each flower.

Blue Palo Verde Blossom
Foothills Palo Verde Blossom
This beautiful Blue Palo Verde greets visitors in the central part of Tohono Chul Park:

 Whenever I'm driving around, my heart feels as if it has stopped when I come upon one of the thousands of our glorious palo verdes and its magnificent blossoms. I'll leave you with a long shot and closeup of this stunning tree that I saw a couple of years ago in a medical plaza.



  1. Thanks for the info on the bloom colors. I didn't know about that! I love seeing the trees too! Wow!

    1. It's amazing how many of us have lived here our whole lives and didn't know that about the flowers!

  2. How interesting! I wonder what the evolutionary impetus was for that one white petal!

    1. Interesting speculation, and one that never occurred to me. I wonder what it could be....