Chilopsis linearis

Desert Willow

chilopsis-bubba-small-file

The Desert Willow has truly captured our attention.  Scott thinks the smell of the thin, willow-like,leaves remind him of the Southwest, reminiscent of sagebrush.  But the flowers are almost tropical looking, attracting hummingbirds near and far..  Tubular, burgundy flowers emerge in clusters at the tips of branches all summer long.  Just when everything else is taking a break in the heat, this tree thrives.  It will tolerate drought as well as summer irrigation as long as it has well draining soil.  So a great choice for a slope or granitic, sandy soil.  The Desert Willow is very late to leaf out in the spring, so pair it with plants that have spring interest, but it will put on a show until the early fall.  Chilopsis are a small tree with an open habit, getting 15-20' wide and tall and prefering to be a bushy shape but can be single or multi-trunk with pruning.   It would do best in a hot location, a south or west exposure, hardy to Zone 7.  But we have seen it in the Denver Botanic Garden, so when it's dormant and established could withstand colder temperatures.  'Bubba' has larger flowers and leaves than the species. 'Burgundy' also has darker blooms than the species.  They are in full bloom here at the nursery in July well into September, so come visit!