Palo Verde museum tree

A mainstay in desert landscapes, the Palo Verde tree shares its beauty year round on ten inches or less of rain per year. It stands out most in the spring, when it covers itself in a dense shawl of tiny yellow flowers.

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In Arizona, you’ll find palo verdes (Spanish for green stick) growing naturally in open areas, especially along washes and other places where runoff is channeled. Landscape designers cleverly work this hybrid into home and commercial settings where filtered shade is desired.

Mature trees can reach 20 to 40 feet in height, depending on the variety. The common name Desert Museum, or Museum Tree, is a nod to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. Three decades ago the director of natural history, Mark Dimmitt, identified a thornless seedling that would not just flower in the spring, but would keep blooming throughout the summer.

Desert gardens can be beautiful if you learn how to grow them properly. This book helps you identify plants that thrive in the desert and teaches you how to grow them.

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