Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flowers and leaves of Parkinsonia aculeata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Genus: Parkinsonia
Type species
Parkinsonia aculeata

See text


Cercidiopsis Britton & Rose
Cercidium Tul.
Peltophoropsis Chiov.
Rhetinophloeum H.Karst.[2]

Parkinsonia /ˌpɑːrkɪnˈsniə/, also Cercidium /sərˈsɪdiəm/,[3] 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).[4]

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, usually 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, derived from the Spanish words meaning "green tree". This name is given due to its characteristic green trunk. The palo verde (not species-specific) is the state tree of Arizona.[5]


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.[6]

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ "Parkinsonia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  2. ^ "Genus: Parkinsonia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2000-04-07. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  3. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Vol. III: M-Q. p. 1966. ISBN 978-0-8493-2673-8.
  5. ^ "Arizona State Tree". Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  6. ^ "Female Digger Bees | ASU - Ask A Biologist". askabiologist.asu.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Subordinate taxa of Parkinsonia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  9. ^ "Parkinsonia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-04-25.

External links[edit]