see it


Chilopsis linearis     
Desert Willow   
Bignoniaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: multistemmed tree with graceful appearance; can be trained to single trunk
Seasonality: deciduous
Size: 6-30ft with equal spread
Leaves: simple, solitary, linear, 1/2-3in long, 1/2 to 1/4in wide; long and weeping, willowlike
Flowers: terminal clusters with bell or funnel shape; attractive white, burgundy or pink colors with distinctive yellow throat and venation, bloom strongest in May-June then sporadically
Fruit: dehiscent pod, 4-9in long, cling persistantly on branches throughout winter
Stems/Trunks: smooth when young developing rough fissures with age, prominent lenticils (white spots) on new growth
Range/Origin: along washes throughout SW US and Mexico; elevations to 5000ft
Hardiness: to 0°

seed pods
seed pods on Chilopsis linearis



fast grower when given supplemental water
large variability in flower color
variety "Lois Adam" is podless
"Desert Hope" has white flower
awesome tree (the favorite of the author of these web pages)

Desert willow mature specimen,
just before springtime leafing out

close-up of flower close-up of flower close-up of flower
flower cluster
note distinctive yellow throat
lenticils on young growth foliage detail

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This page was first created July 20, 2001 and last modified May 15, 2004.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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© 2004 Arizona Board of Regents. All contents copyrighted. All rights reserved.