Texas Paloverde

Parkinsonia texana

Fabaceae (Legume family)


Texas paloverde is a very thorny, deciduous, shrub or small tree that grows to be 4-10 feet tall. Its green bark carries out photosynthesis in times of drought.

It often appears leafless at first glance, but it actually has small, blueish-green leaves. Each leaf has 2-3 oblong leaflets. Texas paloverde often drops leaves in summer and will releaf after it rains. The yellow flowers are ruffled, have five petals, and a red spot. Its fruit is a 1-2 inch long legume that is flat and dark brown.

Texas paloverde's leaves are browsed by a variety of mammals from white-tailed deer to jackrabbits. The seeds are also browsed by a variety of animals from deer and feral hogs to kangaroo rats and birds. Cattle will eat the legumes.


Texas paloverde occurs in sandy loams, clay, and shallow, well drained rocky soils throughout south Texas. It will often form loose colonies.