|Chitalpa, X Chitalpa tashkentensis.|
Photos Taken: Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Near Superior, Arizona. May 13, 2008.
X Chitalpa tashkentensis.
X Chitalpa tashkentensis.
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Chitalpa is a rapid growing deciduous tree, branching readily near its base and has ascending branches that forms a dense broad oval crown.
X Chitalpa tashkentensis is the technical name given to the bi-generic cross between the Arizona desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) and the catalpa (Catalpa bignoniodes) trees.
Technically the name is correctly written as x Chitalpa to indicate this hybrid origin of the tree but most people call these plants simply as just Chitalpa.
From the Arizona desert willow, the Chitalpa inherits its long 3 to 5 inch dark green leaves and the ability to withstand some dry heat; however, unlike the desert willow, the Chitalpa can withstand low temperatures of about minus 15 degrees.
Chitalpa begins flowering during early May in Arizona and continues blooming into late fall. Its 1 inch long flowers have a funnel-shaped throat with purple nectar guides that line the inside and give an orchid striping to its flared pink petal lobes.
The fast growing Chitalpa tree will grow 2 feet or more every year to a mature height of about 25 to 30 feet. Unlike many other rapidly growing trees, which are intolerant of windy situations, Chitalpa can even withstand our strong monsoon winds without breakage. And unlike either of its parents, Chitalpa is sterile so it produces no messy seed pods. Truely a pool friendly plant.
But we are now beginning to hear negative reports about this tree.
It is short lived and beginning to be shunned by all the top arborists and landscapers.
Height: Height to about 30 feet. About 27 feet wide.
Flowers: Fragrant, pink to lavender. Terminal clusters with bell or funnel shape; attractive white, lavender or pink colors with distinctive yellow throat and venation, they bloom strongest in May-June then sporadically until frost or cold weather.
Blooming Time: May to September.
Seed Pods: None.
Leaves: Willow like leaves. Simple, solitary, linear, 1/2-3in long, 1/2 to 1/4in wide.
Found: Parent plants found along washes throughout the SW US, and Mexico. It Is A Hybrid Landscape Plant.
Elevation: 0 - 5,000 Feet.
Hardiness: Claimed to be hardy to 18 °F.
Soil pH requirements:
Habitat: Loose well drained soil. Arroyos, desert slopes, and on valley floors, to 3,800 feet. It is remarkably tolerant of alkali.
Miscellaneous: Maintenance: Low. Photos Taken: Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Near Superior, Arizona. May 13, 2008.
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