Chilopsis linearis

 

A little while ago, I was surfing the net over breakfast (well, okay, brunch), and came across Chilopsis linearis, the desert willow.  I’d never heard of it, but it looks very lovely indeed.  It’s a small tree with willow-like leaves, and large trumpet flowers.  It’s in the Bignoniaceae family, which includes the Catalpa, and the Trumpet Vine, Campsis.  I wanted one.

So, I checked the availability of seeds, and there they were, offered by a nice lady in Texas.  A fortnight ago, they arrived, in an envelope bearing some pretty stamps (Does anyone collect stamps?), but the weather was biblical rainstorm, and when they went into the mail box at the bottom of the drive, they plopped into a puddle.  The instructions are strict – ‘Do not overwater!’  Heigh ho…

I sowed them the next day.  Various sites had said they were tricky to germinate, or that they would germinate in about a month, although the instructions in the envelope were more encouraging.  And they needed a minimum temperature of 70F, when the temperature here has been November.

Here’s what happened on Sunday, 10 days after sowing:

Jo's Chilopsis linearis

 

Thank you to that lovely lady from Texas!

Will they survive and prosper this side of the Atlantic?  No idea, but we’ll give them a go, even if it’s only as bonsai!

Excited?  Me?  Yep – I’m always excited with new plants.

PS – have you noticed they seem to have four seed leaves?  Why is that, I wonder?  Looks like research time.