Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem Thorn) is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree native to arid and semi-arid regions of the Americas. It is known for its distinctive appearance, with feathery foliage and showy yellow flowers. Here are some key features and characteristics of Parkinsonia aculeata:
Appearance: The Jerusalem Thorn typically grows to a height of 15 to 30 feet (4.5 to 9 meters) and has a spreading, open crown. The tree has a slender, thorny trunk and branches. The leaves are bipinnately compound, meaning they are divided into multiple small leaflets arranged in a feather-like pattern. The foliage is light green and provides a delicate appearance.
Flowers: The tree produces bright yellow flowers that are highly attractive. The flowers are pea-like and grow in clusters at the ends of branches. Each flower has five petals and a prominent cluster of stamens. The blooming period usually occurs in late spring or early summer, and the flowers create a vibrant display against the tree's feathery foliage.
Thorny nature: The Jerusalem Thorn is well-known for its thorny branches. The thorns are typically straight and can grow up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. They serve as a defense mechanism against herbivores and can make the tree challenging to handle or prune without appropriate caution.
Landscape use: Parkinsonia aculeata is often planted in arid or xeriscape gardens and landscapes. It can be used as a specimen tree, in group plantings, or as a windbreak in dry and hot climates. The vibrant yellow flowers and feathery foliage make it an attractive choice for adding color and texture to arid landscapes.
Maintenance: The Jerusalem Thorn is relatively low-maintenance once established. It requires full sun and well-drained soil. Pruning should be done with care due to the thorny branches, and protective clothing and gloves are recommended. The tree may need occasional pruning to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches.
Botanical Name : Parkinsonia aculeata
Common Name : Jerusalem Thorn
Height : 15-30 ft
Spread : 20-25 ft
Germination Info : No pre-treatment. Seed germinates sporadically and slowly over a long period of time.
Hardiness zone : 9-11
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 313