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Parkinsonia aculeata, Jerusalem Thorn

Parkinsonia aculeata

Jerusalem Thorn
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Origin: West Indies and South America
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallFull sunModerate waterYellow, orange flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsThorny or spinySubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Jerusalem thorn is a hardy species and is valued as an ornamental or shade tree. Its unique shaped leaves, pretty yellow flowers, shrubby weeping like habit, drought tolerance, and ability to grow in a wide range of soils makes it an appealing tree to grow. P. aculeata seeds have a thick coat and propagate best when soaked. The hard coating allows the seeds to remain viable for many years and germinate under the right conditions. Two types of seeds are said to be produced within the pods. About 25 percent of the seeds are light brown and will germinate right away, while the remaining light and dark brown seeds need scarification or soaking to induce germination.

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