• The Hybrid Palo Verde 'Desert Museum': A New, Superior Tree for Desert Landscapes

      Dimmitt, Mark A.; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1987)
      A recently released complex hybrid palo verde is described which exhibits the best phenotypic traits of the three species in its parentage. 'Desert Museum' has inherited from Parkinsonia aculeata very rapid growth (up to 2.7 meters, nine feet, per year), sturdy, upright growth habit, and large, bright flowers borne over a long season. From Cercidium spp. it has inherited small leaves. Unlike any species of palo verde, the hybrid is completely unarmed. Preliminary evaluation indicates that 'Desert Museum' is a nearly ideal tree for cultivation in desert climates. It grows to a functional size of seven meters (20 feet) tall and wide in three to five years, after which time it can be maintained on little or no supplemental water. Its growth habit requires little or no pruning or staking. The litter from the small leaves is inconspicuous and readily blows away or decomposes. The tree is apparently resistant to indigenous pests and diseases. Availability is currently limited until a method for large scale propagation is developed.