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Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa
Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis (Cav.) Sweet
Family: Bignoniaceae
Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa (Chilopsis  linearis) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 10-13, 18-21, 29,30,33
USDA: 8-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy in Phoenix to 10F (-12C)

Heat Tolerance: Heat resistant, tolerates reflected heat

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Southwestern USA, northern Mexico, up to 5000 feet elevation (1500 m)

Growth Habits: Deciduous shrub or small tree, fast growing to 25 feet tall (7.5 m), 20 feet in spread (6 m); shaggy bark

Watering Needs: Moderate to little water, do not overwater, needs good drainage


Little litter. The leaves drop early in winter.

Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa (Chilopsis  linearis)

Desert Catalpa (Chilopsis linearis), flower and seeds, U.S.D.A. Drawing, courtesy Hunt Institute

Blooming Habits:
The Desert Willow blooms in spring and fall. The flowers, on new wood only, remind of catalpa flowers. They vary from white to pink to lavender and purple. Since the Chilopsis bloom very early, it might be advantageous to buy one while blooming to be able to check the color.

Fruiting Habits:

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.