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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet

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Olneya tesota-Desert Ironwood

  This Sonoran desert native has attractive gray bark.  Frost or drought can induce leaf drop.  Summer monsoons can trigger regrowth.  The stems are armed with vicious thorns.  In spring, there are masses of lavender pea like flowers.  This tree needs no water in deep soil.  The seeds are edible.  Leaves are 2" long and 1" wide.  Do heavy pruning only in cooler months.  It is native < 2500' in sandy washes.  Give some frost protection when young. Mistletoe can infest.

Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 13, 2003