Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow.

How about a willow with flowers? Or one with Hummingbirds?

Desert Willow belongs to a genus of flowering plant, containing a single species, Chilopsis linearis. It is a small tree native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Despite the common name Desert Willow, given because of its willow-like leaves, it is actually a relative of the Bignonia. Gardeners love this plant because it evokes the shape of a true Willow, but produces a canopy of intensely colored flowers.

It is cultivated principally for its large showy flowers, but also for its tolerance of hot, dry climates. Although the natural growth produces a very irregular shape, it can be readily pruned into a conventional tree shape. A number of cultivars have been selected to produce flowers ranging in color from deep burgundy to flaming pink to white.

The plant will grow in full sun and partial shade. It needs very well drained soil. Although it grows best along streams and low places, it does not like moisture at its roots. It grows well in rocky and gravel soils and thrives in very hot and dry areas.

Native Americans used the flowers, leaves, and bark medicinally. They also used its wood for bows and baskets. The tree attracts hummingbirds as well, inviting these desirable guests into the garden.

Digg this

No comments: