Alphabetical Plant Listing

Chilopsis linearis (Desert Willow)

Desert Willow, Flowering-Willow, Willowleaf Catalpa, Desert Catalpa, Flor de Mimbre, Mimbre, Bow Willow, False-Willow, Jano, Catalpa-willow


Chilopsis linearis (Desert Willow) is a spreading deciduous shrub or small deciduous tree adorned with narrow, willowy leaves and showy flower clusters from late spring to fall. Borne at the tips of the branches, the sweetly fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers are reminiscent of catalpa blossoms. Ranging from pale pink to pale violet, they give way to beanlike pods, 6-10 in. long (15-25 cm), that persist on the plant into the following spring and produce seeds with winged hairs. Hummingbirds and bumblebees visit the flowers for their nectar and a variety of birds eats the seeds. Its shaggy bark and twisted branches make it an interesting silhouette in winter. Fast-growing, easy to maintain, drought tolerant, Desert Willow can be planted as a lovely ornamental in courtyards and patios or used for erosion control in arid regions.

  • Grows up to 15-30 ft. tall (4-6 m) and 10-20 ft. wide (3-6 m). At first, it can grow 3 ft. per year (90 cm), but once established will slow down.
  • Thrives in well-drained soils in full sun. Extremely drought and heat tolerant, Desert Willow is not fussy about soil conditions and grows on most soils, including dry clay, loam, and sand. Water the plant until established. Applying fertilizer is beneficial during the establishment period. Once established, supplemental water is not required. An occasional watering during the summer months will contribute to a flush of growth and profuse flowering.
  • Virtually disease and pest free. Desert willow seeds itself into the landscape and therefore is not recommended for planting in lawns.
  • May be pruned to form a tree or shrub as desired. Since blooms occur on new wood, the more it is pruned, the more it flowers.
  • Propagate from seed, hardwood cuttings (dormant) or softwood cuttings (mid-summer).
  • Native from the eastern half of the Mohave Desert in California, south into upper Baja California, east to southern Nevada, Arizona, south to north central Mexico to Nuevo Leon and Zacatecas, southern New Mexico, and west Texas.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Climate Zones 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Spread 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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Sage Photography, Shutterstock, (c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Climate Zones 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Spread 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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