This tree grows in the desert, driving across in some places you see one or maybe two trees, all alone, very amazing sight as you say how does it survive, and how is it there all alone!!
Other than that I'm not sure about anything!!
Wikipedia says that this plant is native to the Americas:
But it is found in the desert
says: "The native species Ficus sycamores and Morus spp. are planted along canals for shade and for their edible fruits. Other indigenous species are Tamarix aphylla, Acacia arabica, Parkinsonia aculeata and Palatines aegyptiaca. " ref to Egypt.
English: Jerusalem Thorn, Mexican Palo Verde, Horsebean, Retama
Main Synonyms: Parkinsonia thornberi M.E. Jones
Family: Fabaceae (Bean family, Pea family) - formerly Caesalpiniaceae (Caesalpinia family)
Country of origin: Mexico (SW North America?)
Found in: Different public sites (e.g. between Kalkara and Vittoriosa).
Occurrence in the Maltese Islands: Rare-frequent.
Flowering time: Late spring-summer.
Description: A deciduous or semi-evergreen large spiny shrub with a light, airy, low-branching growth habit, or an upright, medium-sized spiny tree reaching heights of 10 m. Beautiful is the sometimes weeping, spreading open crown (to 6 m in width). The smooth bark of the slender branches and twigs is bluish-yellow to yellow-green, later turning grey-brown. Alternate leaves are peculiar strap-like, bipinnately compound, but they appear singly compound. Each leaf is divided into two or four 25-35 cm long strips (“needle-like midribs”), each strip has 20 to 40 pairs of very small, opposing, elliptical leaflets, which are less than 1 cm long and usually short-living. Axillary buds close to the leaf bases are modified to typically paired, 2 cm long sharp spines. Attractive showy flowers are 2.5 cm in diameter. The 5 petals are bright yellow coloured, the largest one (the top petal) turns from yellow to reddish-orange with age. The fruit is a legume, a brown pea-like pod. Fruits are 7-10 cm long and constricted between the 1-3 papery and flat seeds. Two kinds of seeds are developed within one and the same pod: a light brown coloured seed, which germinates readily, and the dark brown seed, supported with a hard seed coat for a later germination.
Remarks: The genus Parkinsonia is named after an English gardener of the 17th century, John Parkinson. Jerusalem Thorn is highly adapted to life in the desert. The plants are cultivated as an ornamental in regions with tropical and subtropical climates. In northern Australia, Parkinsonia aculeata is regarded as one of the most troublesome invasive tree. Drought and soil tolerant, the plant does well on sandy soils with full sun.
Thanks for the detailed preview of your fab. book
"Fruits are 7-10 cm long and constricted between the 1-3 papery and flat seeds."
The pod is around 10 cm normally (OK) but normally more seeds are present (5/6+) and they are NOT flat or papery.
I would best describe them as panadol-like, in fact as mentioned in another thread, I once mistook them for small Delonix regia seeds. I also never really noticed any difference in colour, they were all pale beigey-mottled with specks.
I think I may still have some of these somewhere.