I am sorry to say I might have mislead you with the hint about the mystery seed of the week last week.
It turns out that although the sissoo tree (Dalbergia sissoo) that produced the beautiful seed pods grows very well in the Desert Southwest, it is actually originally from India. It may also be called Indian Rosewood.
The tree has compound leaves. The leaflets are bigger than those of most of our desert trees.
Young trees have a pale bark, which turns darker and quite rough with age.
In India, the tree is grown both for its beautiful, termite-resistant wood and as well as for firewood. It is quite fast growing.
If you want to try to grow sissoo trees from seeds make sure the seeds are fresh, because they lose viability quickly. There is no need to extract the seeds from the pods. Soak them in water for at least 24 hours and then plant in moist soil.
New trees can also be produced from the roots of existing trees, a process called suckering.
Thanks to my three botany friends, Deb, Terry and Claud, for straightening me out on the identity of this species.
Have you seen a sissoo tree?