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PlantFiles: Cascalote
Caesalpinia cacalaco

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caesalpinia (ses-al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cacalaco

One vendor has this plant for sale.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sherizona On Aug 26, 2012, sherizona from Peoria, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Thorny ornamental tree with very pretty flowers in the winter. It is a nice splash of color when many tender perennials in the desert are looking rather ragged.

Negative sipirili On Nov 9, 2010, sipirili from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Careful with spikes (don't know the proper name, I know they are not thorns). I got poked on the hand, right on a vein, and within seconds it looked like I had a marble under the skin. Within minutes half the hand got swollen.
That was three days ago. The hand is a little swollen and sore.

Negative farmerjohnaz On Apr 1, 2007, farmerjohnaz from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 10a) wrote:

I planted 3 5 gallon Cascalotes as part of my xeroscape in Queencreek Arizona. They are 2 years old, multibranched, and 6' tall. Each winter they were completed defoliated after the first frost. It is now April 1st and there is no sign that they are coming back. It reached 18 degrees one night this winter. The first winter, the lowest temp was 24 degrees. I lost many branches. It is not a cold hardy plant. It was listed as 20 degrees on the pot, but I would not plant in areas that get below 32.

Positive palmbob On Jun 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

very drought tolerant Mexican tree with profuse yellow flowers in winter, but also some in mid summer. Stems are ornamentally knobby-looks more like a CAssia than a Caesalpinia from a distance. Mature trees similar in appearance to C mexicana, but can be differentiated by those large, persistent knobby spines all along the trunk and larger branches (C mexicana trunks are smoother or covered with a layer of peeling bark). Seed pods of this plant are colorful, often orange or yellowy, and have large, round seeds (C mexicana seed pods or noticably flatter, green until they dry a dull pale brown and seeds are much flatter). Supposedly cold hardy to 25F which makes is significantly less cold hardy than C mexicana.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anthem, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Scottsdale, Arizona
San Marino, California
Sarasota, Florida

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