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Crucifixion Thorn
Scientific Name: Canotia holacantha Torr.
Synonym:
Family: Celastraceae
Crucifixion Thorn (Canotia  holacantha)
Crucifixion Thorn (Canotia holacantha), U.S.D.A. Drawing, courtesy Hunt Institute
Recommended Temperature Zone:
USDA: 9-11

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Sonoran Desert: southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, Baja California, Sonora, in dry, rocky slopes and washes, from 500 to 4500 feet elevation

Growth Habits: Large shrub or small tree, up to 10 feet tall; bluish gray-green, rigid branches; tipped with sharp thorns; leaves reduced to deciduous scales

Watering Needs: Little water once established

Propagation: Seed


This tree is also sometimes known locally as paloverde, because of its general appearance. It is not related to the real paloverde (genus Parkinsonia).

Blooming Habits:
The Crucifixion Thorn is dioecious. It bears inconspicuous reddish-brown, 5-petaled flowers, less than 0.5 inch wide (12 mm), in axillary clusters. It blooms in late spring to early summer.

Fruiting Habits:
The female shrubs bear persistant clusters of woody reddish-brown capsules with 5 valves, each about 0.5 inch long (12 mm).


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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