california native flora

a drought tolerant patio garden of mostly natives

Desert Willow Journal

Chilopsis Linearis – Desert Willow

Sep 26, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis bloom.
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Desert Willow is a great small tree for those with limited space and unlimited sunshine. Right now (winter) is a period of dormancy and to be honest the plant looks like it’s dead. However, that’s what it wants you to think and just when you are not expecting it, it’ll jump up in spring with a big “SURPRISE!!!!”. Moderately fast growing up to 20′ in full sun, Chilopsis Linearis is a favorite of hummingbirds. It blooms for long periods through the summer when many other plants are taking time out from the Southern California heat.

Despite it’s name and resemblance to Willow trees, Chilopsis Linearis is not a Willow tree. It’s more closely related to Catalpa Bignonioides (Catalpa Tree or Cigar Tree). The form is certainly Willow-like and we are hoping as it matures it will create a nice shaded area on the patio for us to enjoy in the summer. The pink, white and yellow trumpet shaped flowers have a pleasant scent and are attractive to butterflies, songbirds and hummingbirds. The seed pods form in autumn and burst open in winter revealing small flat seeds with wing-like hairs. These are really easy to germinate in potting soil.

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Plant Meta Data

Common NameDesert Willow
Botanic NameChilopsis Linearis
Bloom PeriodSummer
Bloom Color
Light RequiredSun
Water ToleranceDrought
Potential Size (H x W)20' x 15'
NotesAttracts ButterfliesAttracts SongbirdsAttracts Hummingbirds


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June 5, 2011. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.May 25, 2011. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.Sep 26, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis bloom.Sep 26, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.May 10, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.April 10, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.Mar 29, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis. Emerged from dormancy, late march.Feb 7, 2010. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.Nov 8, 2009. - Desert Willow - Chilopsis Linearis.