Monday, April 7, 2014

Mysteries solved #2 - the Not-Mesquite

My mystery 'not-mesquite': Desert Bird of Paradise

I have a lot of mesquite seedlings pop up and sometimes I just leave them alone and grow a new tree. Only one of them this time around is not a mesquite. It had leaves that seemed like a mesquite

See, mesquite-ish

But then at the end, it has developed a distinctly non-mesquite-ish bud.

Once again, the Tucson Backyard Gardening group helped me out. I have a bird of paradise!  Based on  the information on this desert gardening site (sadly defunct, now), I believe I have a Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) as opposed to a Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia Mexicana). But we'll see when the flowers bloom.  And when they do, here come some more pollinators, too, yee ha!

As usual, I get the neatest things in my yard when I leave it alone.  Although also a good example of why it's so important to have a positive ID on plants, because I can use mesquite leaves for a tea for sore throats, and this is quite obviously NOT a mesquite and has toxic parts, too. 

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