The Cercidium Floridum
is commonly known as Blue Paloverde
, < Go Back
Blue paloverde is distributed through the Sonoran Desert. Its range
extends from central and southwestern Arizona into southeastern
]. Blue paloverde continues southward
through western Sonora, Mexico [5
]. Disjunct populations of blue
paloverde are located in northern Sinaloa and Baja California Sur
The currently accepted scientific name of blue paloverde is Cercidium
floridum Benth ex Gray. (Fabaceae) [5
]. Besides the typical
subspecies that is recognized throughout most of the species range,
C. f. ssp. peninsulare (Rose) Carter occurs in Baja California [76
Occasionally, blue paloverde hybridizes with yellow paloverde (C.
Blue paloverde is a characteristic member of the Sonoran Desert
floristic region [38,79]. It is a member of desert scrub communities.
Blue paloverde is a major component in creosotebush (Larrea tridentata)
and white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) climax communities on lower bajadas
Blue paloverde is a facultative desert riparian species that may be
restricted to washes or arroyos in parts of its range but also occurs in
upland communities. It primarily occurs in communities irregularly
scattered along arroyos . These communities with intermittent water
are variously classified as desert riparian associations ,
pseudo-riparian communities , desert wash woodlands [7,13,53,71],
Colorado River riparian forests , and desert microphyll associations
. Codominants in all of these classifications are honey mesquite
(Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa), smoketree (Psorothamnus
spinosus), ironwood (Olneya tesota), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis),
and catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii) [52,58,71].
Blue paloverde is a dominant member of the mixed scrub series with
ironwood and jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) . Within the broadleaf
woodland subformation, the paloverde series is dominated by either blue
paloverde or yellow paloverde; the understory is sparse in this series
Blue paloverde is listed as a dominant or indicator species in the
(1) A vegetation classification system applied to southern California 
(2) The vascular plant communities of California 
(3) Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona: a gradient
analysis of the south slope .
Species associated with blue paloverde but not previously mentioned in
DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE include desert hackberry (Celtis pallida),
desert lavender (Hyptis emoryi), big saltbrush (Atriplex lentiformis),
Torrey seepweed (Suaeda torreyana), spidergrass (Aristida ternipes), and
Rothrock grama (Bouteloua rothrockii) [23,47,49,68].
< Go Back
Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Pavek, Diane S. 1994. Cercidium floridum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.