Jerusalem thorn, more...
[Parkinsonia thornberi ]
Plant: Tree < 12 m, armed with spines at nodes; stem ± zigzag; bark smooth, green Leaves: 1-3 dm, 2-pinnate, alternate; main primary leaflet axis < 30 cm, conspicuous, persistent as ribbon-like streamer; secondary leaflets 30-60, scattered, 3-5 mm, 1-1.5 mm wide, elliptic, ephemeral INFLORESCENCE: raceme, < leaf Flowers: ± 2 cm wide, slightly bilateral; sepals reflexed, ± free, all alike; petals ± round, yellow, banner red-spotted at base, becoming entirely red in age; stamens 10, free, exserted Fruit: legume, dehiscent, 5-10 cm, ± thickened, leathery; Seeds several Misc: Disturbed, dry place; < 400 m. References: Shreve and Wiggins, 1964.J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual.
Wiggins 1964, Benson and Darrow 1981, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: Jerusalem thorn Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FAC General: Trees with well-developed trunk smooth, green bark on upper branches and brown, rough bark on trunk and main limbs, to 12 m tall. Young twigs have paired nodal, spines with small white hairs, soon becoming glabrous. Leaves: Leaves obscurely twice-pinnate, with reduced primary rachis, 1-3 flattened pinnae, up to 30 cm long, with 10-40 pairs of ephemeral leaflets 2-8 mm long. Flowers: On racemes 10-16 cm, relatively few-flowered; showy, 27-35 mm wide, sepals and petals yellow, banner petal at first with basal red-orange spots or flecks, anthers pale orange to somewhat rose colored. Fruits: Pods few seeded, more or less indehiscent or tardily semidehiscent. Ecology: Found along arroyos, sandy plains, or other low-lying areas where water accumulates in the low desert from 3,000-4,500 ft (914-1372 m); flowers March-May, occasionally post-monsoon. Distribution: Most states in southern US, from CA, NV, AZ and UT, east to FL; south to s MEX, and in S. Amer.; Europe; Africa and Australia. Notes: Distinguished by being a tree with photosynthetic, green bark and showy yellow flowers much like other Parkinsonia, but highly distinct by the very-long leaves (to 30 cm) with flattened, >10 cm long rachis of pinna, alternate leaflets and the brown bark on the trunk and main branches. Ethnobotany: Many tribes to seeds winnowed, parched, dried, cooked and stored them for food. Etymology: Parkinsonia is named after John Parkinson (1567-1650), while aculeata means prickly. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015