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Chilopsis linearis is often confused with:
Catalpa bignonioides Catalpa bignonioides
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ptelea trifoliata Small tree in the landscape.
Sophora affinis Sophora affinis
Sinojackia rehderiana Flower Close-up Spring (Craven County, NC)
Chilopsis linearis has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants
Aphids Found on Flowers and Foliage

Flor De Mimbre Chilopsis linearis

Phonetic Spelling
chi-LOP-sis lin-ee-AIR-iss
Description

The common name Desert Willow is derived from its habitat of desert-like locations and its resemblance to the willow tree, to which it is not related.   Considered phreatophyte, a deep-rooted plant that gets its water from the water table.

It's a Southwest US native deciduous shrub or multi-trunked small tree with showy fragrant pink tubular flowers in the willow family.  Its native habitat includes along desert streams or sandy washes as well as canyons where subsurface water can be found for a good part of the year. These native areas include the eastern portion of the Mohave Desert in California, extending south into the upper Baja California, then east to southern Nevada, Arizona, southern New Mexico and western Texas.

It's leaning, twisted trunk make this plant a great addition to the garden or yard.   Use this flowering tree as a hedge or in a winter interest or drought-tolerant garden.  Growing quickly as a young plant, its grown will slow down as the plant matures.

Routine pruning during the first few years will encourage additional trunks to form.  Cutting back by 1/3 during the winter dormancy period will encourage branching and blooming.  

Deadheading will encourage additional blooms.  Blooming on new wood, the more it gets pruned, the more flowers will be produced.

When grown as a shrub, it serves as a form of erosion control.

Wood from the Desert Willow has been used in making bows and baskets.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease issues.  Aphids can be an occasional problem.  Leaf scorch bacteria can also be an occasional problem.  Its self-seeding make it a poor choice in the landscape.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Art's Seedless'
    Sterile flowers and no fruit.
  • 'AZT Desert Amethyst'
    Purple flowers
  • 'Bubba'
    More vertical and less shrubby.
  • 'Lois Adams'
    Large pink flowers, few seed pods
  • 'Lucretia Hamilton'
    Deep pink to purple flowers
  • 'Regal'
    Deep pink-purple flowers
  • var. linearis
    Native to UT, AZ, NM, TX and Mexico
  • 'Warren Jones'
    Deep pink-purple flowers
  • 'White Storm'
    Smaller tree/shrub with white flowers
'Art's Seedless', 'AZT Desert Amethyst', 'Bubba', 'Lois Adams', 'Lucretia Hamilton', 'Regal', var. linearis, 'Warren Jones', 'White Storm'
Tags:
#fragrant#hummingbirds#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#pink flowers#native tree#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#winter interest#flowering tree#hedges#large shrub#large flowers#frost tolerant#long bloom time#wind dispersed seeds#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#deciduous tree#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#host plant#wet soils intolerant#native#butterflies#dry air tolerant#butterfly#butterfly garden#birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Art's Seedless'
    Sterile flowers and no fruit.
  • 'AZT Desert Amethyst'
    Purple flowers
  • 'Bubba'
    More vertical and less shrubby.
  • 'Lois Adams'
    Large pink flowers, few seed pods
  • 'Lucretia Hamilton'
    Deep pink to purple flowers
  • 'Regal'
    Deep pink-purple flowers
  • var. linearis
    Native to UT, AZ, NM, TX and Mexico
  • 'Warren Jones'
    Deep pink-purple flowers
  • 'White Storm'
    Smaller tree/shrub with white flowers
'Art's Seedless', 'AZT Desert Amethyst', 'Bubba', 'Lois Adams', 'Lucretia Hamilton', 'Regal', var. linearis, 'Warren Jones', 'White Storm'
Tags:
#fragrant#hummingbirds#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#pink flowers#native tree#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#winter interest#flowering tree#hedges#large shrub#large flowers#frost tolerant#long bloom time#wind dispersed seeds#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#deciduous tree#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#host plant#wet soils intolerant#native#butterflies#dry air tolerant#butterfly#butterfly garden#birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chilopsis
    Species:
    linearis
    Family:
    Bignoniaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in arid location landscape designs.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and southwestern U.S.A., Mexico
    Distribution:
    AZ, CA, NM, TX
    Wildlife Value:
    While in bloom, this plant will attract hummingbirds and bees. It is a host plant.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Shade
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-trunked
    Open
    Spreading
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/4" wide seed pods 6"-12" long with winged seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Large trumpet-shaped pink, lavender or white flowers that resemble Catalpa. They flower on 2-4 inch panicles.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow lanceolate leaves
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Shaggy, light gray and smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender twigs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat