Monday, April 4, 2016

AZ State Trees are Peas

Some sites say that only the Blue Palo Verde is the AZ State Tree. But we're going to take both of them! Trees are not in a special category of plants; they are simply big plants.

Photo credits: foliage © Ned Harris; flower, fruits © 2016 T. Beth Kinsey

The Blue Palo Verde blooms first around mid-March. When it has leaves, they are larger than those of the Foothills Palo Verde. Both can drop their leaves in drought conditions with no (major) ill effects; they can continue to photosynthesize in their stems and branches. The Blue Palo Verde has a 5 petaled flower, as you'd expect. All 5 petals are the same bright yellow. The Blue Palo Verde blooms earlier than the Foothills Palo Verde.  The fruit is a pod. Dried fruits in the photo above.

Photo by Marty Horowitz 3/19/2016

Photo credits: foliage, flower  © 2016 T. Beth Kinsey
fruits © 2000 ASDM

The Foothills Palo Verde has tiny leaves, but still the same line-down-the-middle-leaf-on-either-side pattern. The flower is 5 petaled with a white banner petal. When the fruits are first developing (bright green), they are tasty, like a snow pea.
Our state trees are perfect peas.

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