Close this search box.

Desert willow + cvs

Chilopsis linearis


The Desert willow grows into a large deciduous shrub to medium size tree with a low branching habit, usually from 15-20 ft. in height and spread. Rarely older individuals can be over 30 ft. tall. Long narrow linear leaves are 5 in. long and drop under moisture stress as well as during winter. Colorful trumpet-shaped flowers are white, pink or purple with purple and yellow throat markings. These flowers are fragrant and occur for several weeks from mid spring into summer. Some plants produce large numbers of long bean-type seed pods that persist on branches during winter.

Desert willow is native to high and low desert regions from Southern California to Texas and south into Mexico. It has proven to be a highly adaptable plant for use in Inland Empire gardens and landscapes, tolerating heat, cold, wind and summer drought. It has a graceful and open foliage habit that is useful for courtyard and southwestern style garden plantings. Young plants grow quickly and benefit from pruning to control form.

In recent years nurseries have introduced a number of new cultivars that offer a range of plant sizes, growth habits, flower colors and fewer seed pods. Some of the popular cultivars are: C. l. ‘Burgundy’ is a robust selection, 20-25 ft. tall with striking pale and dark purple flowers; C. l. ‘Warren Jones’ grows to 20 ft. in size, has an open branching habit and shaggy bark, and light pink flowers have ruffled edges; C. l. ‘White Storm’ is a small and delicate selection to 15 ft. tall that produces pure white flowers.

Plant Type: Tree, Native
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Open, Mounding, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Bright green
Flower Color: Purple, Pink, White
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Deep soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Drought, Aridity, All day sun, Heat, Frost
Function: Foundations, Flowering accent plant, Background plant, Attracts bees, Wildlife value, Specimen, Shade Tree, Screening, Attracts butterflies, Raised planters, Parks and open space
Height: 15 ft. – 30 ft. (rarely)
Width: 15 ft. – 20 ft.

Set your preferred view

Choose between a list or map view of all signs found in our waterwise garden and park.

Welcome to the Waterwise Garden Digital Tour

This is a digital registry created to offer further information on the physical signs in our waterwise garden and park premises.

Would you like a few tips on how to use this tool?

Move around

Travel to different sections of our garden and park premises by using the horizontal scrollbar at the top.

Locate your sign​

Using the map view, you can preview what each specific sign is about by tapping on the plus icon.

Refer back to these tips

You can view these tips at any time by tapping the Help link in the top left.