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Starr 010209-0260 Parkinsonia aculeata.jpg
Flowers and leaves of Parkinsonia aculeata
Scientific classification

Type species
Parkinsonia aculeata
L. [2]

See text


Cercidiopsis Britton & Rose
Cercidium Tul.
Peltophoropsis Chiov.
Rhetinophloeum H.Karst. [3]


Parkinsonia /ˌpɑːrkɪnˈsniə/ , also Cercidium /sərˈsɪdiəm/ , [4] is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains about 12 species that are native to semi-desert regions of Africa and the Americas. The name of the genus honors English apothecary and botanist John Parkinson (1567–1650). [5]

They are large shrubs or small trees growing to 5–12 m (16–39 ft) tall, dry season deciduous, with sparse, open, thorny crowns and green bark. The leaves are pinnate, sometimes bipinnate, with numerous small leaflets; they are only borne for a relatively short time after rains, with much of the photosynthesis carried out by the green twigs and branches. The flowers are symmetrical or nearly so, with five yellow or white petals. The fruit is a pod containing several seeds.

Most American species are known by the common name of palo verde or paloverde, from the Spanish words meaning "green pole" or "green stick". This name is derived from its characteristic green trunk. The palo verde (not species-specific) is the state tree of Arizona. [6]


A major pollinator for Parkinsonia species in the southwestern United States and western Mexico is Centris pallida , a solitary bee known as the digger or pallid bee. C. pallida obtains nectar and pollen from this plant to fill a brood pot so that their larvae will have food when they hatch. The nectar and pollen give its bee bread a strong orange color. [7]

Selected species

Related Research Articles

<i>Centris</i> genus of insects

The genus Centris contains circa 250 species of large apid bees occurring in the Neotropical and Nearctic realms, from Kansas to Argentina. Most females of these bees possess adaptations for carrying floral oils rather than pollen or nectar. They visit mainly plants of the family Malpighiaceae to collect oil, but also Plantaginaceae, Calceolariaceae, Krameriaceae and others. Recent studies have shown they are sister to the corbiculate bees, the most well-known and economically important group of bees

<i>Tagetes</i> genus of plants

Tagetes is a genus of annual or perennial, mostly herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was described as a genus by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.

<i>Parkinsonia aculeata</i> species of plant

Parkinsonia aculeata is a species of perennial flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. Common names include palo verde, Mexican palo verde, Parkinsonia, Jerusalem thorn, jelly bean tree, and palo de rayo.

<i>Leucaena</i> genus of plants

Leucaena is a genus of flowering plants in the mimosoid clade of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the legume family Fabaceae. It contains about 24 species of trees and shrubs, which are commonly known as leadtrees. They are native to the Americas, ranging from Texas in the United States south to Peru. The generic name is derived from the Greek word λευκός (leukos), meaning "white," referring to the flowers.

<i>Parkinsonia microphylla</i> species of plant

Parkinsonia microphylla, the yellow paloverde, foothill paloverde or little-leaved palo verde; syn. Cercidium microphyllum), is a species of palo verde.

<i>Parkinsonia florida</i> Species of tree native to the Sonoran Desert

Parkinsonia florida, the blue palo verde, is a species of palo verde native to the Sonoran Deserts in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. Its name means "green pole or stick" in Spanish, referring to the green trunk and branches, that perform photosynthesis.


The Centridini are a tribe of large apid bees, many of which possess adaptations for carrying floral oils rather than pollen or nectar. The floral oils are often gathered from plants of the family Malpighiaceae, though other plants may be visited. The oil-collecting species typically have "combs" composed of closely spaced, flattened, blunt bristles on the margins of the first tarsal segments of the front and middle legs; others may have velvety "pads" to absorb the oils. They also commonly gather plant resins for use in nest cell construction. They have a tiny pterostigma in the forewing, the female scopa is very bushy, and the first flagellomere of the antenna is often longer than the scape.

<i>Prosopis glandulosa</i> species of plant

Prosopis glandulosa, commonly known as honey mesquite, is a species of small to medium-sized, thorny shrub or tree in the legume family (Fabaceae).

<i>Canotia</i> genus of plants

Canotia holacantha, also known as crucifixion thorn or simply canotia, is a flowering shrub / small tree in the family Celastraceae. It is the only species in the genus Canotia.

<i>Anemone hepatica</i> species of plant

Anemone hepatica is a herbaceous perennial growing from a rhizome in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), native to woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

<i>Olneya</i> species of plant

Olneya tesota is a perennial flowering tree of the family Fabaceae, legumes, which is commonly known as ironwood, desert ironwood, or palo fierro in Spanish. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Olneya. This tree is part of the western Sonoran Desert complex in the Southwestern United States, which includes flora such as palo verde, saguaro, ocotillo, brittlebush, creosote bush, and mesquite.

<i>Lycium andersonii</i> species of plant

Lycium andersonii is a species of flowering plant in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its common names include water-jacket, redberry desert-thorn, Anderson thornbush, Anderson's desert thorn, Anderson boxthorn, Anderson lycium, Anderson wolfberry, and squawberry.

Palo Verde or palo verde may refer to:

<i>Phoradendron californicum</i> species of plant

Phoradendron californicum, the desert mistletoe or mesquite mistletoe, is a hemiparasitic plant native to southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California. It can be found in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts at elevations of up to 1400 m.

<i>Celtis reticulata</i> species of plant

Celtis reticulata, with common names including netleaf hackberry, western hackberry, Douglas hackberry, netleaf sugar hackberry, palo blanco, and acibuche, is a small- to medium-sized deciduous tree native to western North America.

<i>Syssphinx hubbardi</i> species of insect

Syssphinx [Sphingicampa] hubbardi, or Hubbard's silk moth, is a species of moth in the family Saturniidae. It is found in Mexico and the southern United States.

<i>Euglossa dilemma</i> species of bee

Euglossa dilemma, the green orchid bee or dilemma orchid bee, is a species of solitary euglossine bee native to a broad area of Central America, and recently introduced to Florida in the United States. It was first detected in Broward County, Florida in 2003, and initially identified as Euglossa viridissima, but further study revealed that E. viridissima as previously defined consisted of two cryptic species, and the one present in Florida was new to science.

<i>Centris pallida</i> species of insect

Centris pallida is a species of solitary bee native to North America. It lacks an accepted common name; however, it has been called the digger bee, the desert bee, and the pallid bee due to its actions, habitat, and color respectively. The solitary nature of this bee allows for a dual-strategy mating system which produces an evolutionarily stable state resistant to invading strategies. These bees have also evolved to withstand the high temperatures of their native habitat. C. pallida routinely has internal temperatures within 3 degrees Celsius of death.

Parkinsonia texana is a species of perennial flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native to Texas and the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas. Common names include Texas palo verde, Border palo verde, and Retama china.


  1. The Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG). (2017). "A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny". Taxon . 66 (1): 44–77. doi: 10.12705/661.3 .
  2. "Parkinsonia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  3. "Genus: Parkinsonia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2000-04-07. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  4. Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  5. Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. III: M-Q. p. 1966. ISBN   978-0-8493-2673-8.
  6. "Arizona State Tree" . Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  7. "Female Digger Bees | ASU - Ask A Biologist". Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  8. "GRIN Species records of Parkinsonia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  9. "Subordinate taxa of Parkinsonia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  10. "Parkinsonia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System . Retrieved 2011-04-25.