Chilopsis linearis – Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis - Desert Willow (flowers)

Chilopsis linearis - Desert Willow

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis

Common Name: Desert Willow

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Deciduous

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland, Riparian. It grows along washes.

Flower Color: Light to medium pink, Lavender

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer. Depending on the rains, this plant blooms anytime from April to September.

Height: To 25 feet (7.6 m) tall

Description: The showy flowers are broadly tubular, up to 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) wide, and have 2 ruffled upper lobes and 3 yellow and magenta-streaked lower lobes. The flowers are followed by long, slender, brown seed capsules. The leaves are green, untoothed, narrowly linear, and somewhat sickle-shaped. The bark is brown and rough-textured.

Despite its common name and willow-like appearance, Desert Willow is not a true willow like plants in the genus Salix.

Special Characteristics

Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract large butterflies.

Fragrant – The flowers are lightly fragrant.

Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant. The subspecies Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata and C. linearis ssp. linearis are Salvage Assessed.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Bignoniaceae – Trumpet-creeper family
Genus: Chilopsis D. Don – desert willow
Species: Chilopsis linearis (Cav.) Sweet – desert willow

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map