desert smoke tree Fabaceae Psorothamnus
spinosus (A. Gray) Barneby
|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
| 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
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson