Chilopsis linearis 'Purple Splendor' (Desert Willow) blooms with beautiful magenta-purple flowers for over a month in the summer, attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Its narrow leaves are long and willow-like, giving it a light, airy look. By early autumn the flowers fade and form slender seed pods, which dangle from the tree during winter. Plant this deer-resistant shrub near your home to create filtered shade for hot patios, low-water lawns, and courtyards, and to enjoy the sweet fragrance of the flowers.
Chilopsis linearis 'Purple Splendor' (Desert Willow) may be grown as a large shrub or small tree, adding year-round interest to a waterwise yard. It grows quickly to 10 feet tall, thereafter the growth will slow, and can be pruned to maintain a more compact form. Summer flowers are 1.5-2 inches long and arrive in deep rich purple, sometimes dashed with yellow or white. Sweetly fragrant, they will bloom for over a month, and they are true pollinator magnets. Native through the California deserts into Mexico, and east to Texas, Desert Willows are typically found at an elevation of 2000-5000 feet. Not a true willow, they are more closely related to Catalpa Trees and Trumpet Vine. Plant in average to low fertility soil that drains well, in a full sun location. Water Chilopsis as needed to establish, thereafter be careful not to over-water. In colder zones, it is recommended to plant them in the spring, so the roots have ample time to establish.
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Purple Splendor Desert Willow
Chilopsis linearis 'Purple Splendor'
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Average Soil, Sandy Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Very Waterwise, Waterwise
Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Attract Birds, Deer Resistant, Native, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks), Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good Rockgarden Or Alpine Plant
Spring / Summer, Fall
Ships To Canada
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a native tree with showy, nectar-rich flowers that attract hummingbirds. Its small size allows it to fit easily into smaller yards and under power lines. Excellent for rain gardens, the plants are equally comfortable standing in water for a few days or sitting bone dry for weeks on end.
'Conchas Dam Pink,' 'Hope' and 'Lucretia Hamilton' Desert Willow are cold hardy into zone 5.
Lucretia Hamilton'™ with lovely, burgundy flowers is equally cold hardy and a compact grower for patios and tight spaces.
Our Desert Willow selections are very cold tolerant. But they are best grown in the West, Southwest, southern Great Plains and Texas in areas with good summer heat (temperatures in the 90s °F or higher). Chilopsis is worth trying in the mid-Atlantic states in very fast draining, sandy soil. Not suitable for the Mid-West or Northeastern US.
To get established in USDA zones 5 & 6, they must be planted in spring or early summer, not in the fall. Protect your new plants over their first winter or two in your garden. Cover each plant with a generous pile of clean straw or pine needles. This allows the plant's crown (junction of root and branches) to mature and obtain maximum cold hardiness.
In zone 5 climates (edge of their cold hardiness): plant them in a wide, shallow depression that will fill in with soil after a few seasons. This increases their cold hardiness by gradually sinking the crown more deeply into the soil.
Pruning: In zones 8-10, winter is an excellent time to prune because there will not be any winter die back. In colder regions (zones 5-7), Chilopsis will sometimes have some winter kill and its best to let the plant leaf out (typically in late spring) and remove any winter damaged branches that don't leaf out; then thinning of cross branches and shaping can be done. Rarely Chilopsis will freeze back to the ground. If this occurs, it's best to let the plant re-sprout from the roots before pruning off dead branches.View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
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