Family: Parkinsonia belongs to the family of Legumes.
Common names: The tree is commonly known as the Jerusalem Thorn or the Vilayati Kikar in Hindi.
Flowering period: Parkinsonia flowers in the autumn season, usually in the month of October.
Habitat: The tree is native to South America and can tolerate extremely dry and saline environments.
Uses: Parkinsonia is used for firewood, charcoal, medicine, fodder (pods and leaves), shade, mulch and as a live fence. It is useful in soil stabilisation as a windbreak.
Key features: Parkinsonia is a small spiny tree that usually only grows 2 to 6 metres tall but can also grow upto 10m tall in some regions. The tree is said to be spiny as younger stems have a pair of spines under each leaf. The leaves are alternately arranged and have short stalks. The tree acts as a weed in certain environments, and is considered to be a prohibited weed in Australia. Its success as a weed can be attributed to the fact that it can grow in extremely dry and saline sites and can also tolerate waterlogging. The thorns on the tree often form thickets that block waterways and prevent cattle from drinking water.