SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: UC Davis - Davis, CA, Palm Springs, CA, Los Angeles County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA, Cal Poly Leaning Pine Arboretum - San Luis Obispo, CA and Albuquerque BioPark - Rio Grande Botanic Garden
Desert Willow is an unusual small flowering desert accent tree, especially useful in riparian or native garden settings. It is usually multi-trunked or low-branching. It blooms best in full sun, becoming taller and less full in half shade. Desert Willow bark is smooth when young but develops rough fissures as it ages. White lenticels are noticeable on young bark or new growth. It is very drought tolerant, with only occasional deep watering to the roots. It is susceptible to root rot if drainage is poor. It generally remains below 25' in height.
Has fragrant Flower.
Native to California, Texas and Mexico.
A Chilopsis linearis in Porterville is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 40 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 71 inches and a crown spread of 36 feet.
Additional Common Names
DESERT WILLOW, DESERT CATALPA
Spreading Low or High Canopy.
Rounded or Spreading Shape.
Has Deciduous foliage.
Height: 15 - 30 feet.
Width: 10 - 20 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 to 36 Inches per Year.
Longevity 40 to 150 years.
Leaves Linear, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, Golden or Yellow or Orange, Deciduous.
Flowers Showy. Fragrant Lavender, Pink, Rose or White. Flowers in Spring or Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Brown Capsule, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Fall Wildlife use it.
Bark Light Green or Light Gray, Exfoliating.
Shading Capacity Rated as Low in Leaf.
Shading Capacity Rated as Low out of Leaf.
Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 7 - 14 and 18 - 23.
USDA Hardiness Zones 8 - 9.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Moist to Dry Soil.
Loam or Sand Texture.
Neutral to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland.
Seaside Tolerance is Not Suited.
Pests & Disease Information
Resistant to Texas Root Rot. Susceptible to Root Rot.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
Allergy Health Hazard.
Biogenic Emissions considered Moderate.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Wildlife use Fruit.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Chilopsis linearis Tree Record." 1995-2021. May 13, 2021.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/chilopsis-linearis >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI