Chilopsis linearis

Secondary Names:
desert willow

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A small tree to 25 feet tall and a trunk to 12" in diameter, with a curving, irregular branching habit and an open, airy crown of foliage.

Range/Site Description:

Occurs in West Texas, on dry, gravelly, porous soils and dry stream channels. Also planted as a landscape specimen, but does poorly if overwatered.


Simple, alternate (or sometimes opposite), linear, 4" to 12" long and just 0.5" wide, light green, pointed at the tip, with a smooth leaf margin.


Showy, tubular flowers 1" to 1.5" long, usually lavender or white, blooming at the end of the twigs in summer or after a rainstorm, opening successively toward the end of the flower stalk.


A long "pod" or capsule, 7" to 12" long, woody, very slender, and containing many small seeds. Fruit pods are similar to those of catalpa.


Smooth, brown on branches and young trunks, turning darker with age and developing scales and deeper fissures on old trunks.


Soft, weak, and close-grained; brown, streaked with yellow. The wood is used for fenceposts, fuel, and baskets; the flowers produce an excellent honey.

Similar Species:

Black willow (Salix nigra) has shorter leaves with finely-toothed margins.

Interesting Facts:

Dried flowers are sold in local Mexican markets as remedy for coughs and other respiratory ailments.

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