Its long, thin, ribbon-like leaves gives this open tree a wispy character that is incredibly beautiful, but denies the canopy the shading capacity needed to cool desert landscapes. Jerusalem thorn is a native of the deserts of the American Southwest and well into Mexico. It is found in dry streambeds and canyons where soils are sandy or gravelly and very well drained. Highly drought tolerant, it remains an excellent water-wise plant for sheer beauty and color where some light is desirable so cacti and succulents can grow protected beneath a filtering canopy. It becomes leafless in cold winters or extreme drought, but still can make food through photosynthesis in its flat, green branches.
This species blooms in spring with loads of large, yellow flowers that engulf the tree. These are followed by pods, which can become a nuisance. The seeds they contain will self-sow prodigiously. It has become an invasive species in desert ecosystems outside its natural range. The spiny branches make the tree difficult to eradicate once established, particulary when growing in thickets. This is an excellent example of a native tree with the potential to become invasive outside its natural range.
Use Jerusalem thorn as an accent or specimen tree in full-sun locations including around heat and light-reflecting roads and buildings. Carefully prune away lowest branches to safeguard people walking by or underneath the tree. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Parkinsonia
Species - Aculeata
Common name - Jerusalem Thorn
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 9 - 12
Height - 15'-30' / 4.60 - 9 m
Spread - 15'-30' / 4.60 - 9 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen Ornamental
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Shade Trees, Tropical
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow
Soak in boiling water for 5 seconds.
Sow immediately 3 mm (1/8") deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
Germinate at +23-+25C (75F).
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