Yellow “Snow” in Phoenix

It’s not well understood, but Phoenix does have a Spring. And to clear up confusion, it doesn’t happen in January. Much of Spring happens when the solar year is right, in other words, in April and May.

Blooming Palo Verde

Blooming Palo Verde

We have a beautiful tree here, called the Palo Verde. The tree has tiny leaves running along thin branches. These branches shed and re-grow, and they do a lot of it in April and May.

The Palo Verde has adapted wonderfully to the desert climate. The tiny leaves aren’t enough to provide photosynthesis in summer, so the trees have green trunks and branches–what the leaves can’t do, the branches can. Blue Palo

Dropped Palo Verde blossoms

Dropped Palo Verde blossoms

Verdes and older Palo Verdes have brown trunks, but the vast majority have green trunks and branches.

Both Palo Verde tree types bloom profusely–small-ish yellow blossoms with red centers. As the blossoms age, they drop, creating  snow-like drifts in the streets. It’s Phoenix’s yellow snow. And no, we don’t eat it, either, just like colder climates don’t indulge in eating their yellow snow!

Blossoms blowing along street

Blossoms blowing along street

Drifts in the gutter

Drifts in the gutter

5 thoughts on “Yellow “Snow” in Phoenix

  1. I love these trees SO much! They were like bright yellow balls when we saw them in Saguaro National Park this April. And I checked Barbara Cowlin’s paintings. Her piece with the Palo Verde blossoms was quite lovely.

    • While I don’t know where she took it, I feel I KNOW that place. That’s the beauty of Nooks and Crannies.
      And yes, Palo Verde trees are lovely any time of year. I do hate when the branches drop down, though.

      –Q

      • Thanks for looking at Nooks & Crannies. And for your nice comments. The Palo Verde is located in the Phoenix Art Museum. Next time you’re there, see if you can find it!

        Quinn, there’s a really cool blog called Color Chunks http://colorchunks.blogspot.com/2009/05/tuttles-thumbs.html. Your photos would be perfect for this. Check out my Color Chunk–I think it’s in the March or maybe April archives. I’m going to do several paintings from these photos at some point.

  2. Love these photos. I’ve always had a thing for the patterns made by Palo Verde blossoms. If the wind doesn’t kick up and ruin them! In fact, I did a painting called Palo Verde Blossom Drift, part of my Nooks & Crannies series.

    I think the trees are particularly spectacular this year.

    • I love your “Nooks and Crannies” series. Just looked up the Palo Verde one. This is only my second Spring, and you are right, they are particularly spectacular this year.

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