UA logo Allergy and Asthma in the
Southwestern United States
Information for patients with allergy and related problems
in the Southwest

Environment and allergic disease              Return to menu

Key to Plant Identity for Patients with Allergy

Trees and Shrubs  (click on hypertext links for pictures)

    Small paired  leaflets ............................................ Acacia,* Palo Verde, Mesquite
         leaves with tiny leaflets, yellow flowers, green bark on
         trunk and branches ...............................................................  Palo Verde                                                                  (Cercidium   floridum, C. microphyllum) 
         9-18 in long leaves with tiny leaflets.................................. Mexican Palo Verde
                                                                                           (Parkinsonia aculeata)*  
         ball-shaped fuzzy yellow flowers ..........................................Acacia constricta                                                                                                     Acacia farnesiana*
         elongated fuzzy yellow flowers............................................  Acacia Greggii*
   Grey green pointed leaves with pale under-surface,  multiple
         trunk, pale smooth bark, green olives ripening to black .................  Olive
    Smooth dappled bark, straight trunk, leaves with pointed
         lobes,  ball shaped fruit .......................................................... Sycamore
    Rough dark bark ...............................................................  Mesquite, Tamarix
    Elongated fuzzy yellow flowers
         drooping   flowers (catkins)...................................................  Mesquite
         flowers not pendulous, cat-claw thorns..............................  Acacia Greggii*
    Heart shaped leaves .....................................................  Cottonwood, Mulberry 
    Acorns and
            leaves with rounded indentations ..................................... Gambel Oak
            leaves with little or no indentation, pale under-surface,
                        evergreen ................................................................ Virginia Live Oak
    Alternate leaves with serrated margins ..................................... Elm, Mulberry
    Zig zag branches, alternate leaves ............................................. Hackberry
    Narrow pointed leaves, numerous 8th inch tan berries .......... Rhus lancea
    Narrow, very tall 20-40 ft ...................................................... Italian Cypress
    Needle leaves, evergreen
           conspicuous pink to tan needle-like flowers, no cones....  Tamarix
           cones...................................................................  Pine,*  JuniperCypress
           rounded obviously segmented cones .............,................. Arizona Cypress,
           small berry-like cone
s ..................................................................Juniper
       
woody, elongated cones ..................................................................  Pine*
    Tall shrub, very narrow erect leaves, woody stems, profuse
          production of cotton-like seeds in fall ........................................... Desert Broom
    Bushy shrub, narrow leaves, flowers in spring.............................. ......Burro Brush
    Leaves with characteristic aroma when crushed, flower buds
          covered with cap, fruit in cup-shaped woody nuts...........................  Eucalyptus *
    Deciduous, compound leaves, 9-12 leaflets, large round
          woody nuts, drooping catkins ................................................... Arizona Walnut
    Palm**
          fan shaped fronds, wide trunk partly or entirely covered
                 with thatch of dead leaves ................................................... Desert Fan Palm*                                                                                                                          (Washingtonia   filifera)
          fan shaped fronds, tall slender trunk ....................................   Mexican Fan Palm *                                                                                                                           (Washingtonia robusta)
          feather palm, massive trunk, inedible dates ...................Canary Island Date Palm *                                                                                                                         (Phoenix canariensis)
          feather palm, slender trunk, edible dates .................................. Arab Date Palm *                                                                                                                          (Phoenix dactylifera)
          feathery fronds, relatively small palm,  smooth gray
                 trunk up to 1 ft diameter ..........................................................  Queen Palm *                                                                                                        (Arecastrum romanzoffianum)
s 
                                                              
Key to weeds

*    rarely a significant allergen in Southwest USA
**  not really trees - they actually belong to the family of grasses

                                                                                                                          
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Disclaimer:   This site is for educational purposes only.  Any information that you have found in this web site is not intended to replace medical care or advice given to you by your own physicians. You should consider consulting your local medical library and other web sites for additional information. 

Comments and suggestions welcome!   Email: schumach@u.arizona.edu
Content Owner:  Michael J. Schumacher, MB, FRACP, The University of Arizona

Updated
8/2008