Description

The Palo Verde Southwest Garden draws from one of the most widely recognized trees of the Southwest. Most people quickly recognize the Palo verde by its unique green bark and intense yellow flower display in early spring. A highly popular cultivar, Parkinson x 'Desert Museum', has become introduced to the Inland Empire with very good success. Another palo verde species, Parkinsonia praecox, has a sculptural branching habit is also featured in this palette.

Palo verde trees are among the best signature plants for landscapes for southwestern style gardens. They can be combined with many other plants from arid climates such as red flowering autumn sage and silvery cassia to achieve many wonderful plant combinations. These colorful and fine textured plants stand out in striking contrast with agaves, cacti and palms.

Plant List

Trees

Desert Museum palo verde

Botanical Name: Parkinsonia x 'Desert Museum'
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.   Width: 20 ft. - 25 ft.

Mesquite species + cvs

Botanical Name: Prosopis
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 25 ft. - 40 ft.   Width: 25 ft. - 40 ft.

Palo brea

Botanical Name: Parkinsonia praecox
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 20 ft. - 25 ft.   Width: 20 ft. - 25 ft.

Palms

Blue hesper palm

Botanical Name: Brahea armata
Plant Type: Palm
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 30 ft. - 40 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

California fan palm

Botanical Name: Washingtonia filifera
Plant Type: Palm, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 35 ft. - 50 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 15 ft.

Shrubs

Apache plume

Botanical Name: Fallugia paradoxa
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Autumn sage + cvs

Botanical Name: Salvia greggii
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Black dalea + cv

Botanical Name: Dalea frutescens
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Broom baccharis

Botanical Name: Baccharis sarothroides
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 12 ft.

Chuparosa

Botanical Name: Justicia californica
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.

Desert lavender

Botanical Name: Hyptis emoryi
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height:   Width:

Flame acanthus

Botanical Name: Anisacanthus quadrafidus var. wrightii
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Little-leaf cordia

Botanical Name: Cordia parvifolia
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 8 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 12 ft.

Pink fairy duster

Botanical Name: Calliandra eriophylla
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Silvery cassia

Botanical Name: Senna phyllodinea
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Texas ranger + cvs

Botanical Name: Leucophyllum frutescens
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 5 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 8 ft.

Trailing indigo bush

Botanical Name: Dalea greggii
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 5 ft. - 10 ft.

Wild olive, Anacahuita

Botanical Name: Cordia boissieri
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 12 ft.

Grasses and Perennials

Desert mallow

Botanical Name: Sphaeralcea ambigua
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Desert Marigold

Botanical Name: Baileya multiradiata
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 24 in. - 30 in.

Desert Milkweed

Botanical Name: Asclepias subulata
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Firecracker penstemon

Botanical Name: Penstemon eatonii
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Pink muhly

Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Regal Mist'
Plant Type: Grass
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft.   Width: 3 ft.

Sandpaper verbena

Botanical Name: Verbena rigida
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 8 in. - 12 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Agaves, Cacti, Succulents and Yuccas

Apple cactus

Botanical Name: Cereus peruvianus
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.

Artichoke agave + var

Botanical Name: Agave parryi
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Brakelights® yucca

Botanical Name: Hesperaloe parviflora Brakelights®
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Desert spoon

Botanical Name: Dasylirion wheeleri
Plant Type: Yucca
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 7 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 7 ft.

Golden barrel cactus

Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 30 in.

Indian fig

Botanical Name: Opuntia ficus-indica
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 18 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 18 ft.

Lady’s slipper

Botanical Name: Pedilanthus macrocarpus
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Purple prickly pear

Botanical Name: Opuntia violacea var. santa rita
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Queen Victoria agave

Botanical Name: Agave victoriae-reginae
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Horticultural Preferences

Plants listed on the Palo Verde Southwest Garden palette are well adapted to warm climate areas with sun, high summer temperatures, aridity and wind. Some species show sensitivity to winter frost. When grown in Inland Empire gardens and landscapes, most plant do very well with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer water. All of these plants prefer sandy or rocky soils with good drainage that makes them well suited for raised planters and on banks and slopes.

Aesthetic Character

Many of the trees, shrubs and perennials selected for this palette produce colorful springtime flowers and interesting leaf color and texture; several tree species have attractive bark. Additionally, this palette includes an abundant list of agaves, cacti, yuccas and succulents provide accent character and sculptural interest. These plants work well in combination with low walls, boulders and with soils covered with gravel and decomposed granite.

 

Moisture Needs

The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed throughout the average year. The high and low range of this irrigation schedule indicates these plants can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and maturity of plants. Rains during the winter months noted by an asterisk (*) can provide sufficient moisture to eliminate the need for winter irrigation. Foliage plants grown in containers benefit from regular watering during the summer to offset the limited soil volume.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.