Desert Southwest Trees and Shrubs

Acacia gregii is a desert shrub often used in herbal remedies. Acacia gregii is better known as Catclaw Acasia and can grow into a tree form of 25 to 30 feet from a 3 to 10 foot shrub. Acacia blooms in the spring and is called CatClaw for the cat-like claws along it's stems that grab anything that passes.

Celtis reticulate is better known as Desert Hackberry or Netleaf Hackberry. Hackberry is a small tree, less than thirty feet tall and can become very drought resistant. This lovely, little tree should receive at least six hours of sunlight a day.

Cercidium microphyllum or Foothills Palo Verde is a small, low-branching tree. Cercidium microphyllum can also be called Littleleaf Palo Verde. Palo Verde means "greenwood" in Spanish, named for its waxy, greenish bark. Palo Verde is uniquely adapted for the desert, with the ability to shed lower branches and photosynthesize through it's trunk should it shed its leaves in a severe drought.

is an herbal shrub better known as Comatilla, Mormon tea, Popotillo, or Big Joint Fir. Comatilla grows one to four feet tall and is used for a variety of ailments such as, Asthma, hay fever, cough, weight loss and obesity. Ephedra occurs in many areas all over the northern hemisphere, including China where it has been used for thousands of years.

Justicia californica is a lovely desert shrub with beautiful cardinal flowers that Hummingbirds will love. Justicia californica is better known as Chuparosa or Beloperone. Chuparosa blooms early in the spring and grows to about three to six feet tall. This lovely blooming shrubs is accustomed to the sandy soils of the desert.

Lycium fremontii is known commonly as Wolfberry or Fremont's Thornbush. Wolfberry's delicate purple flower bloom in the late winter and give rise to little tomato-like berries. This lovely shrub grows to about 4 feet tall and will draw in the birds for nesting.

Olneya tesota or Desert Ironwood is a small desert tree, 15 to 25 feet tall. Ironwood prefers desert washes and valleys where water would collect during a torrent. Olneya tesota has little purple flowers that turn out small roastable seeds. This little desert dweller may be small, but it lives for a long time, up to 1500 hundred years and, in all those years, it is often used as a shelter tree by many species, plant and animal.

Prosopis velutina is another small desert tree, growing to about the same size as Ironwood. Velvet Mesquite prefers washes also and blooms in spring with yellow, dropping groups of flowers. Many species including humans eat the bean that Velvet Mesquite later produces, even coyotes.

Sophora affinis is small lovely tree found in much of Texas. S. affinis is also known as Eve's Necklace or Texas Sophora. It blooms with lovely pink flowers in the spring and can grow 15 to 35 feet tall. Eve's Necklace enjoys sun to shade.

Ungnadia speciosa is a small Texas shrub that can be pruned into a tree, whose pink blooms appear in the spring.

Yucca baccata is a large desert succulant known as Banana Yucca that can by highly variable in form and grows up to three feet tall. Banana Yucca shoots up a five foot spike covered in white flowers, later releasing dull black seeds. Native Americans once used Yucca to weave their baskets.