Cercidium floridum  Blue Palo Verde
TREE.  light green bark and branches with sparse sharp thorns.  Deep yellow flowers in May, followed by tan pealike seedpods.  Leaves are phemeral, appearing after rain and dropping quickly as the soil dries out.  Leaves small, pinnate, with oval leaflets that are 3-4 mm long.  Old trees, like the one shown above, have rough gray bark on the trunk.  A short-lived tree that rarely reaches 50 years old.  In the Empires, frequent at the lowest elevations, especially in the floodplain bosque along the wide, dry, sandy parts of Davidson Canyon.  C. microphyllum (Yellow or Littleleaf Palo Verde), not yet recorded for the Empires, is more common at lower elevations and is probably present in Davidson Canyon.  It has stubbier, thorn-tipped branches, yellower green bark, and smaller leaves, with leaflets only 1-2mm long.  Paler yellow flowers bloom a couple of weeks later than C. floridum.
FAMILY:  Fabaceae (Pea Family)