Chilopsis linearis

Desert Willow

In Stock: 0.301 lb (Total:0.301lb)
  • Chilopsis linearis

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Buying options

0.3 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.3 lb
Collected in:
New Mexico
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 12 hours.
Stratification: none required
Germination: requires light for germination|Sow in spring , sow seed 1/4" deep, keep moist, mulch the seed bed

Introducing the Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow: A Beautiful and Resilient Tree

The Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow is a remarkable flowering plant that hails from the southwestern United States and Mexico. Despite its name, this tree is not actually related to willows, but instead belongs to the bignonia family. It is commonly found in washes and along riverbanks at elevations below 1500 meters in its native habitat.

One of the most captivating features of the Chilopsis linearis is its large and showy flowers, which make it a popular choice for cultivation. This tree thrives in hot and dry climates, making it a tough and resilient addition to any garden or landscape. It can grow anywhere from 1.5 to 8 meters in height, taking the form of a shrub or a small tree.

The leaves of the Chilopsis linearis are linear, curved, deciduous, and about 10 to 26 cm long. They resemble willow leaves, hence its common name "Desert Willow." The tree blooms from May through September, displaying stunning flowers in shades of lavender to light pink. Each inflorescence holds about two to four flowers at a time, with a distinctive pattern of yellow ridges and purple lines on the throat and lower lip.

The Chilopsis linearis is primarily pollinated by large bees, including carpenter bees, bumblebees, Anthophora, and Centris. Its fruit is a linear pod up to 35 cm long, containing numerous winged seeds. Not only is this tree aesthetically pleasing, but it also has practical uses. The pliable twigs can be woven into baskets, while the bark has been traditionally used to make shirts and nets. Additionally, the wood is coarse-grained, soft, and has been utilized for fence posts and fuel.

Cultivating the Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow is a rewarding experience, as it tolerates hot and dry climates exceptionally well. Although it naturally grows in an irregular shape, it can easily be pruned into a conventional tree shape. Several cultivars have been selected, including the 'Rio Salado' with its stunning dark purple or magenta flowers.

This Desert Willow is closely related to the Catalpa genus, and hybrids can be created between the two. In fact, the hybrid between Chilopsis linearis and Catalpa bignonioides has been named ×Chitalpa tashkentensis, originating from a botanic garden in Uzbekistan.

Beyond its beauty and versatility, the Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow also has a place in traditional medicine. Various parts of the plant have been used to treat fungal infections, wounds, coughs, and bronchial disturbances. Its medicinal properties have made it valuable to many cultures throughout history.

If you're looking for a stunning, resilient, and versatile tree, the Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow is the perfect choice. Visit our website for more information and to add this captivating tree to your collection.

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