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.

6 thoughts on “Chilopsis linearis”

  1. This species is popular in harsh climates because it is so resilient to long and dry summers and heat. It can be sensitive to regular irrigation. Even healthy trees can be loosely rooted. In regard to Chitalpa X tashkentensis, (a hybrid with catalpa) I recommend to clients that they prune it aggressively to alleviate some of the leverage exerted onto the roots, rather than trying to keep it big and heavy and staked. Also, the trees can be short lived, even if very healthy. I remind clients of this, just so they do not think they did something wrong if their healthy trees dies after only twenty years. I think that they live twice as long in the wild.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Jo how great you have some excitement in your life we can trust nature to keep us all smiling. They look strong healthy plants so good luck with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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