Olneya tesota Desert Ironwood Tree AKA Palo Fierro
A very rare species to find!
The Ironwood Tree is the only species of the Olneya genus. It is found in the Sonoran Desert in California, Arizona, and into Northern Mexico. Ironwood is one of the most dense woods in the world, and is prized for woodworking due to its density.
In the past, Ironwood was over-harvested for long burning firewood, but laws now protect this tree in the wild, This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, and reaches 15 to 25 feet, and sometimes larger. The wood is dark brown, and has a twisted grain. The trunk is a grey color, and the leaves are a bluish grey-green. A few trees in the Sonoran desert have lived for up to 1,500 years.
Ironwood trees are most often found in sandy washes, where water is more readily available. Like many desert native species, Ironwood forms an extensive root system to take advantage of available water. It needs soil that drains very well. During the driest time of the year, this species may be drought deciduous. Requires full sun.
Hardy to USDA Zone 9. Young trees should be protected from frost until well-established.
Five Gallon: LOCAL PICK UP ONLY, NO SHIPPING.
Safe Enclosure/Habitat Shrub/Tree
Photo Credit: By Ken Bosma from Tucson, Arizona, USA (Iron Wood) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons