Palo blanco (white stick) is a small to medium size deciduous tree with an upright habit and open branching character that can grow 15-25 ft. tall and 10-15 ft. wide. Tiny green leaves are attached to 6-10 in. long narrow petioles that gracefully hang from thin branches. Creamy-white flower spikes occur in late spring, occasionally throughout the year, and are followed by flattened seed pods to 4-6 in. long.
Palo blanco is native to the state of Sonora, Mexico. In recent years it has become a popular choice for use in southwestern style gardens as a feature tree in courtyards, entry planters and in small spaces. These uses display its delicate branching, graceful weeping habit and distinctive peeling bark. It is often planted near boulders and among plants that have bold forms such as agaves, yuccas and cacti to achieve striking contrast and compositions. This is a slow growing species that needs careful staking for trunk support as it matures. It grows well in warm inland habitats in sunny spots with low amounts of water.