The Lysiloma tree, also known as the feather bush or fern-of-the-desert, stands out with its wide canopy of branches and multiple trunks. It belongs to the Fabaceae family of plants, which includes white clover, rattleweed, Judas tree, butterfly pea, Kentucky coffee tree and French honeysuckle.
The Lysiloma tree grows to a height of about 20 feet and about the same width. The flowers are small, creamy white and grow in clusters. The fruit is a hard bean pod that grows 4 to 6 inches long.
Lysiloma is hardy only in USDA zones 9 and 10, the two hottest zones in the continental United States. The tree needs full sun and tolerates most types of well-drained soil.
Dig a hole twice the width and 1 1/2 time the height of the root-ball container. Set the root ball at ground level, and fill in the hole with a mixture of soil and fertilizer .
The Lysiloma tree serves as a small light-shade tree used in transitional garden-desert planting.
The Lysiloma tree is messy. Don't plant it around pools or lawns because fruit pods, flowers and leaves will litter the ground.