Virginia Tech Dendrology

desert smoke tree Fabaceae Psorothamnus spinosus (A. Gray) Barneby Listen to the Latin symbol: PSSP3
Leaf: Nearly leafless, alternate, deciduous, small wedge-shaped, broadest and flat across the tip, 1/3 inch long, gland dotted, wavy edges, fuzzy, light blue-gray.
Flower: Attractive, pea-like, indigo-blue, 1/4 inch long, occur along the twig in loose clusters, appearing in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: Small, odd-looking one-seeded legume, 3/8 inch, egg-shaped, pointed end, covered in dark red glands.
Twig: Slender blue-gray, covered in small gray hairs, spine tipped.
Bark: Light brown and smooth when young, developing darker rough ridges.
Form: Large shrub or small tree with many spiny branches and a crooked trunk, up to 20 feet tall.
Looks like: Schott indigobush - blue paloverde - desert ironwood - Fremont's dalea
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Psorothamnus spinosus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting desert smoke tree.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson