The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Desert Willow
Chilopsis linearis is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 9.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
South-western N. America - California to Texas south to Mexico.
Gravelly or rocky soils in arid desert washes and desert grasslands, 400 - 1600 metres[
]. Plants attain their greatest size when growing along streams and in low places[
Requires a very warm sunny position in a very well-drained soil[
]. Plants are likely to be intolerant of wet conditions especially in the winter[
This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -3°c[
The showy flowers are fragrant[
The blossoms and seedpods have been used for food[
A decoction of the flowers is used for coughs and bronchial disturbances[
The young pliable twigs are woven into baskets[
]. The bark is removed and the shoots are used unsplit as rod foundations in coil basketry[
The bark has been used to make shirts and nets[
Wood - coarse-grained, soft, weak, rather durable in the soil. Used for fence posts and fuel[
Seed - we have very little information on this species but would suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. It will probably pay to protect the plants for their first winter or two in the open ground. There are about 75,000 seeds per pound, only half of which are viable. About 4,000 plants are usually raised from a pound of seed[
Grows readily from cuttings[