The Art, Soul, and Science of an Interdependent Nature
Palo Fierro is Spanish for "Iron Stick". It describes the ironwood tree found in parts of the Sonoran Desert. Ironwood National Monument, near Tucson, Arizona, protects the Palo Fierro and many other desert flora and fauna. According to Wikipedia, "The Desert Ironwood (Olneya tesota) is a very long-lived tree, with some specimens estimated to be more than 800 years old. Desert Ironwood is a keystone species because it provides a nursery environment of shade and protection that enables young seedlings of other species to become established despite the harsh desert climate. The Ironwood also provides shade and roosting area habitats for birds. Its smoky lavender-colored blossoms provide nectar for bees and other insects, as well as forage for animals. The blossoms produce bean pods which also provide food for desert animals."