The Palo brea grows into a small to medium size deciduous tree, reaching 20-25 ft. high and as wide. Trunks and branches are very distinctive due to their bright chartreuse-green bark and twisting branch character. Medium green leaves are bipinnately divided into 1-2 pairs of leaflets and attach to stems covered with many thorns. Early spring is a time when a very showy display of colorful yellow flowers occurs.
This attractive tree, native to the hot and summer dry climates of Mexico and South America, is one of the popular choices for southwestern style gardens in the Inland Empire. It’s attractive green bark and intense spring flower display make it ideally suited as a specimen feature among boulders, in raised planters and with other plants from the Southwest. This tree will shed its leaves during summer drought if periodic water is not provided.