Desert Ironwood

Desert Ironwoods (Olneya tesota) can be found growing on the west side of Tucson and in Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District. These trees bloom in May and June, and they can be easily recognized by their purple and white flowers, which are unlike the cream to yellow flowers of other, neighboring desert trees.

Desert Ironwood (Olneya tesota) flowers

When not blooming, Desert Ironwoods look similar to our other desert trees, but they do have distinctive rough, gray bark. Under their gray bark, Desert Ironwoods have extremely heavy, iron-hard wood that is so dense that it will sink in water instead of floating like normal wood.