A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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A Trio of Trees

This is Parkinsonia aculeata planted in the road behind the monastery at Panormitis.  There are three of them, one is in flower, one has been heavily pruned and the other is regrowing from the ground. Be careful when handling as it has some very sharp spines.

P. aculeata is native to the Sonoran and Chihuahan Deserts of southwestern United States, and northern Mexico as well as the Galápagos Islands. It has been moved by humans into the Caribbean, South America south to northern Argentina, and Hawai'i and here on Symi. It has been introduced in Europe and it is widespread in Australia where it is a highly invasive plant. This thin barked species does not become established in areas where weather dips below 20 degrees F. Parkinsonia aculeata has a high tolerance to drought, simply attaining shorter stature. In moist and humus-rich environments it becomes a taller, spreading shade tree. This plant prefers a full sun exposure, but can grow on a wide range of dry soils (sand dunes, clay, alkaline and chalky soils,etc.), at an altitude of 0–1,500 metres (0–4,921 ft) above sea level.



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