Parkinsonia aculeata Linn.

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Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. Family

Leguminosae

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. English Name

Jerusalem thorn

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. Local Name

Parkinsonia, Kabuli Kikar

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn.

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. Description

A small evergreen tree or shrub. It is often crooked with a broad crown. At maturity it reaches heights of 5 to 9 m and diameters of approximately 0.3 m. Twigs and branches are armed with thorns. The leaves are compound with the tiny leaflets borne on long flat leaves 15 to 35 cm long that look like blades of grass. The bark is smooth and has a greenish color. The yellow flowers occur in May in hanging bunches with the individual flowers arranged along a central axis. The fruit is a pod 7 to 10 cm long, maturing in June and July. It is easily reproduced from seed or by vegetative means. The seed can be stored up to a year without loss of viability. Pre-treatment of seed is needed to overcome seed coat dormancy. A water soak for 3 to 4 days is usually adequate. A drought resistant tree that may be damaged by termites. Coarse grain with greyish sapwood having heavy density with a specify gravity of 0.6.

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn.

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. Distribution

The tree is native to vast areas of America extending from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona south to Argentina. In Pakistan it is a very common sight on G.T. Road (Grand Trunk) as an avenue plant from Lahore to Peshawar. An intolerant tree that can adapt to varied soil conditions including salinity. It is successfully planted in areas below 1300m where precipitation is between 200 and 1000 mm/yr. It is drought resistant and can exist in a temperature range between -3 to 36°C. It grows poorly on waterlogged sites.

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn.

Parkinsonia aculeata Linn. Uses

A relatively fast-growing tree. It is ideal for erosion control in arid areas if protected from grazing. It can be used for hedges, windbreaks and ornamentals in farm forestry programs. Also used as fuel, ornamental, charcoal, fodder, living hedges, wind and shelter breaks, and erosion control.

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