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Palo Brea, Sonoran Palo Verde
Scientific Name: Cercidium praecox (Ruiz & Pav.) Harms
Synonym: Caesalpinia praecox, Parkinsonia praecox, Cercidium australe, Cercidium goldmannii, Cercidium plurifoliatum, Cercidium spinosum, Cercidium viride
Family: Fabaceae
Palo Brea, Sonoran Palo Verde (Cercidium praecox)
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Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 10-14, 18-20

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 22F (-5C)

Origin: Mexico and south to Peru and Ecuador, at low elevation, in low deciduous forests

Growth Habits: Small deciduous tree, 20 to 40 feet tall (6-12 m), 20 feet wide (6 m); short bright green trunk, 12 inches in diameter (30 cm); arching growth; spines 0.2 to 0.4 inch long (5-10 mm) or more; bipinnate leaves

Watering Needs: Little to no water when established, prefers a slightly alkaline soil

Propagation: Seed

The Palo Brea is the most tender of the Palo Verdes commonly used in the Phoenix area.

Blooming Habits:
Yellow flowers in the spring. Upper flower petal often bears orange dots.

Fruiting Habits:
Brown flat papyraceous pods, 1.2 to 2.4 inches long (3-6 cm), 0.24 to 0.4 inch wide (6-10 mm).

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