Cool season annuals are typically planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. JERUSALEM-THORN'S LEAVES EXPANDING The Jerusalem-thorn, PARKINSONIA ACULEATA, is a small tree native from central Texas south as far as northern South America and west to Arizona. The word Jerusalem in the common name Jerusalem Thorn does not refer to the Middle Eastern city but is a corruption of the Spanish and Portuguese word girasol, meaning turning toward the sun. Range/Site Description: Cast a very light shade due to the very small leaves along the stems. Secondary Names: retama, paloverde Leaf Type: Deciduous Texas Native: Firewise: Tree Description: An airy, thorny, small tree to 30 feet with a see-through crown of narrow, light green leaves and green branches and twigs. Parkinsonia aculeata is a species of perennial flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae.Common names include palo verde, Mexican palo verde, Parkinsonia, Jerusalem thorn, jelly bean tree, and palo de rayo. Complimented nicely with multitude of bright yellow flowers borne in the spring and continue into the fall. A member of the Bean Family, later in the year it'll produce pretty clusters of yellow flowers, but right now it's only issuing leaves. Jerusalem Thorn Parkinsonia aculeata A fast growing Texas native tree with beautiful long arching, somewhat drooping, branches with thorns at the nodes. Jerusalem Thorn, Parkinsonia aculeata, a row of trees by a creek in Arlington Texas. Jerusalem-thorn Parkinsonia aculeata. This tree has strong wood and with its natural open shape allows it to tolerate high winds well. The vibrant yellow blooms of the Jerusalem tree grow in clusters of eight to ten flowers. Adapted to arid regions, Jerusalem-thorn is one of the best choices for hot, dry locations and its salt-tolerance makes it ideal for seaside plantings. Jerusalem Thorn on Seymour Island in the Galapagos, December 2004 Palo Verde, Retama, in bloom at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: Graceful, airy tree with long thin compound leaves, yellow summer flowers green bark and heavily armed with thorns. The trees show tolerance of limestone soils, drought, heat and salt. Another Texas native, the fast-growing trees have long, thin leaves and hanging panicles of yellow flowers. The Texas Tree Selector helps you find a tree that will grow in your county. Noted for its unusual green bark and long blooming season, Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem Thorn) is a light, airy, small tree with graceful, slightly arching branches covered with tiny, bright green leaflets and showy sprays of bright yellow flowers. 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