Caesalpinia cacalaco

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Anthem, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Peoria, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Mecca, California

San Marino, California

Sarasota, Florida

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.