Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chitalpa
X Chitalpa tashkentensis

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: X Chitalpa (ky-TAL-puh) (Info)
Species: tashkentensis (tosh-ken-TEN-sis) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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14 positives
4 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ggia On Dec 23, 2014, ggia from Bakersfield, CA wrote:

A mature, stately specimen of X Chitalpa tashkentensis is planted on the grounds of Mountain Gardens Nursery, 503 South Curry St, Tehachapi, CA 93561. Owners are happy with the tree.

Positive southeastgarden On Sep 3, 2014, southeastgarden from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I read repeatedly that this is not a plant for the southeastern U.S. I agree that is is not a carefree landscape plant here but I have great success with it in sandy soil in hot, open parking lots in north Florida. It is a good size for parking lot islands and it loves the reflected heat. My parking lot plantings flower all summer long and never have serious fungal problems.

Positive Gubfunckel_C27 On Aug 3, 2014, Gubfunckel_C27 from Staplehurst
United Kingdom wrote:

Love this tree, been in my garden for 11 years and still growing, it was a 5foot tall spindly tree when we got it, it has been reduced in width over the years and now stands about 15feet tall and 20 foot wide

We are planning on crown reducing it this year to get the flowering canopy back down to where it is more visible again, it is covered in thousands of pink/white flowers every year.

I live in in Kent in the South of England,we get minus 10C to plus 26C so it has a good range of temperatures but loves the nice clay soil.

Neutral bobbieberecz On Jun 23, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I saw this tree in Mendocino, CA about 8 years ago and fell in love with the beautiful flowers. It was in a protected open air atrium of a bed and breakfast. I went right home and found the "Pink Cloud" tree at a local nursery in the northwest corner of Washington state. I had read it was drought tolerant once established so was careless of watering. It's near a stand of water-hogging cottonwoods and to it's credit, and none to mine, this tough little plant has endured the severest of hardships. Blistering heat for 6 weeks with barely a drop of water; flooding winter rains and 4 feet of snow; record breaking freezing spell for this state and still it has come back each year. Granted there has only been one insignificant bloom and it hasn't grown in 8 years more than a few inches, but what does come back is full and healthy looking. I've cultivated and put in a garden in that corner this year and with the sudden attention it is bursting into life. I've given it a little water but will keep in mind the advice not to overwater. It's already grown 6 inches this late spring which is more than it has grown in the combined 8!! I may report back in a couple of years and change my neutral to a positive if it gives me those wonderful flowers everybody talks about.

Neutral coriaceous On Mar 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The only specimen at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston MA (Z6a) did not live to maturity. Perhaps due to inadequate hardiness, perhaps due to too much precipitation, perhaps due to low soil pH, or perhaps due to the disease problem mentioned below.

Positive Herb3 On Oct 6, 2013, Herb3 from Victoria, B.C.,
Canada wrote:

The first one I ever saw is in Victoria,B.C. - at the south end of the most northerly section of Shakespeare Street. It took my attention because it was covered in flowers so late in the summer. I don't know how old it is, but it's quite big - my guess is it's at least 25 feet high and as wide.

About 6 years ago I bought one that was about 4 feet tall in a 5 gallon pot. Now it's about 9 feet high and still has a few flowers on it.

This summer I took a few cuttings from it and after dipping them in rooting hormone, planted three in pots and one in a garden bed. The one in the garden bed has put out several small leaves & has obviously rooted. The ones in the pots seem to have failed but I'm going to leave them there until next summer to see if anything happens.

Neutral spencertoo On Aug 3, 2013, spencertoo from Norman, OK wrote:

There are so many wonderful traits about the Chitalpa. It is a tree I would be interested in planting. I began to look into it and have been researching info on the Chitalpas history, care and maintenance and susceptibility to disease. An unfortunate finding is the emergence of a disease that is found in this tree.

In an article by (1.)Gwen Kilchherr, Sonoma County Master Gardener I learn about the trees history. In 1964 The Chitalpa was created by A. Russanov of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences in Uzbekistan. I am sure most of you know it is a hybrid between Chilopsis and Catalpa. Both plants belong to the Bignoniaceae, trumpet vine family. First introduced to the US in 1997, by Robert Hebb of NewYork Botanic Garden. The Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens in Claremont, CA, gave the hybrid the common name Chitalpa. The gardens also named two cultivars 'Morning Cloud' and 'Pink Dawn'.

In an article from (2.)Natalie Goldberg an extension plant pathologist of New Mexico State University a possible "New"disease is infecting Chitalpa. It has been identified as Xyflella fastidiosa. This organism has been seen effecting grapes in California since the 1880's. In the 1990's a new vector, the glassy winged sharpshooter, showed up in CA via imports of ornamental or agricultural plants. This resulted in a new disease epidemic. In 2006 this disease was noted in the Chitalpas found in Las Cruces NM. This bacteria lives and multiples in the xylem vessels. This deprives the plant of water and nutrients. The symptoms include leaf scorch, defoliation and dieback, stunting, decline and death. It has been found in a variety of trees and plants.

It is believed that most if not all Chitalpas are infected since all varieties tested in NM were found with the bacteria. It is thought that the source of the infection came from the propagation stock collected in the wholesale nurseries. According to (3.) Dr. Curtis Smith of the Albuquerque Journal it is likely that source of infection is related to wholesale nurseries located in CA. This is based on the possibility that the insect believed to play a role in this is not found in NM. It is found in CA. He also states that these nurseries are the primary source of nursery stock for NM and possibly the rest of the US.

(4.)Applied and Environmental Microbiology has published an article online 2009 July 6, titled "Genetic Analysis of a Novel Xylella fastidiosa Subspecies Found in the Southwestern United States" It provides a detailed look at the bacterias method of infection, spread, methods of diagnosis and attempts at inoculation etc.

The first known case of Pierces disease, which is the form of X. fastidiosa that infects grapes was found in New Mexico in 2007. This organism was very similar to what was
found in the Chitalpas of the same area. This resulted in a survey of the Chitalpas across the SW. What was discovered was a very high incidence of the disease. It also revealed that trees found in New Mexico and Arizona coming from CA Nursieries were contaminated with the pathogen. Ongoing research and analysis supports that the New Mexico and Arizona strains compose a new subgroup that is independent from the previously described fastidiosa (piercei), sandyi, multiplex, and pauca subspecies. They suggest calling this subspecies X. fastidiosa subsp. tashke due to its discovery in and wide association with C. tashkentensis.

The article is very technical, frankly above my paygrade, I included it for those who
might have a more complete understanding of what is said than I do.

After reading several reports on this disease in Chitalpas It looks like there are still questions regarding how to contain, prevent, and diagnose the disease. It also sounds like there are questions regarding how widespread the disease is. Since the disease is somewhat different from the one that infects grapes, does that mean it will not infect grapes? Or other trees and plants that are susceptible to other versions of the disease? It would be nice to learn more on those topics.




Hope this is helpful info. Hope others have more to add.

Positive LazyGardens On Jul 21, 2013, LazyGardens from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

"I have them on drip irrigation, and water them two hours per day.
I can't help but think that the soil is the culprit."

It's the drip system. You are overwatering them ... a thorough soaking once every 2 or three weeks is what they need in hot weather.
"I see the same thing happening all over Las Vegas. This is a short lived unhealthy looking tree. "

Try soaking it thoroughly every few weeks and see what happens. The tree can't handle frequent watering unless drainage is perfect.


There are a lot of them growing in Socorro, NM, as street trees. I don't know what their watering schedule is, but they are big with dense foliage and tons of flowers.

Positive Max64 On Jun 27, 2013, Max64 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love mine. I thrives real well. I see many in Vegas where I live but unfortunately they are all very leggy, I prune mine usually before the winter or before the growing season (about 1/3) and it always comes back much fuller and denser looking. I end up doing all my neighbors Chitalpa trees after they saw mine become so fuller. It gives plenty of shade because of it. Growth is fast too when pruned. Trunk looks good with barely a few tiny vertical cracks which are hardly noticeable. It sits on the same drip system as my other plants and gets plenty of water in the heat of the summer. It also loves fertilizer. Year after year it grows healthy, full/dense and lots of flowers. Last but not least, every year just before the growing season I use an annual tree insect control. Bonide or Bayer. Before when I didn't the leaves were populated with insects. Since I've been using the tree insect control my trees have been insect free.

Neutral lysis On May 28, 2011, lysis from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

This plant is literally all over Las Vegas. Doesn't provide any shade, but the flowers are pretty, and slightly smaller than it's desert willow ancestor. Leaves look similar to oleander leaves, but sparse. I've been told that the tree isn't as hardy as one would think in the extreme heat of the desert, but the speciments that I've seen appear otherwise.

Negative bryum On May 6, 2011, bryum from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I have a 10 year old plant in my yard. Every summer the leaves start out looking nice, but then turn brown and crispy on the edges from July to November. Also, after a few years, the bark slips off the trunk. Won't be long til mine is dead, and I see the same thing happening all over Las Vegas. This is a short lived unhealthy looking tree. A few years ago this tree was every landscaper's dream. Now it is shunned by all the top arborists and landscapers.

Positive Lobo99 On Feb 12, 2011, Lobo99 from Alcalde, NM wrote:

2 years ago I planted 4 trees in the high desert of northern New Mexico (el. 5700'). They seem to do well with light irrigation, but there was some die-back from frost damage, with re-growth from the roots every spring, making it more of a multi-branched tree.

Positive ginnydrake On Dec 15, 2009, ginnydrake from Escondido, CA wrote:

Planted a 4 year old, 36" boxed pink Chitalpa this past August. Hummingbirds accompanied the tree as it moved from the street to its new home. Lovely flowers, gracious-looking tree. It's December here in north San Diego County, and it hasn't lost its leaves yet. Wonder if it will? Experienced no transplant shock, unlike the Albizia julibrissin planted at the same time. Looking forward to its dappled shade, hummingbirds and wide canopy as time passes.One question - do I stop watering in the winter or just reduce the amount of water needed???

Positive Marcyphish On Jul 15, 2009, Marcyphish from Golden Valley
United States wrote:

These trees are very drought tolerant once established. They make a great shade tree for the high desert!

Positive valygirl On Jun 14, 2008, valygirl from Grand Junction, CO wrote:

These wonderful trees & shrubs are thriving in our xeriscaped yard in Grand Junction, CO. They will die if you give them too much water!! We completely cut off the drip system after one year & only water them by hand about every 3 weeks. After Labor Day, completely stop all water & absolutely DO NOT winter water.

Negative dbernsten On May 20, 2008, dbernsten from Ridgecrest, CA wrote:

I had five of these plants planted five years ago in my front yard. They must be the only Chitalpas in the city not in bloom. The leaves are sparse, small and deformed.

I have them on drip irrigation, and water them two hours per day.

I can't help but think that the soil is the culprit.

Any suggestions?

Positive betsycooper1 On Nov 19, 2005, betsycooper1 from Prescott Valley, AZ wrote:

We have two and love them - so do the hummingbirds. Will add one more in spring. .. Prescott is mile-high dry with temps from-15f to 115f and poor clay-like soil so they grow slow but flower well with no damage to patios or walks. Perfect for planting in or near flower beds. No seeds - this hybrid is sterile.

Positive rweiler On Jun 15, 2005, rweiler from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

This is a fantastic choice for the Desert Southwest Zones 7-8. They are all over Albuquerque. Here there is no worry about mildew and when established they love the heat and are drought tolerant. If you can grow Desert Willows definitely try these! Like Desert Willows they can be multi-branched and shrublike or can be easily trained/pruned to be more standard-like and grow 20-25 feet. They start to bloom early summer here and are profuse bloomers. They do not shed their flowers and leave the mess that Catalpas do. Super tree!

Positive ladyannne On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Another highlight of the east side garden. Its spring blossoms, besides being breathtaking, attract birds, bees, hummers and June bugs. The natural, sprawling, artful limbs are a work of art, holding at about twenty feet tall and fifteen feet wide. I used some cuttings to hold up tomatoes and ended up with more chitalpa trees after the tomatoes were spent. Within two years, the trees are too large for even the largest of pots.

Negative saltcedar On Oct 30, 2004, saltcedar from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Don't try this one east Fredricksburg Texas. The humidity will cause anthacnose fungus to turn your tree and lawn beneath
brown as a grocery sack.

Positive Terry On Sep 6, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

In 1964, a hybridizer in Uzbekistan crossed the Chilopsis linearis and Catalpa bignoides, giving rise to the Chitalpa Tree, which wasn't officially christened until 1991, when the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden gave it its name. The flowers are sterile and dry on the plant, eliminating the need to clean up messy seed pods.

When grown in areas of high humidity, it may suffer from mildew, and it also tends to sucker near the base of the plant, but if you have room for a shrubby-type flowering tree in average-to-dry soil, the Chitalpa is very pretty!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Golden Valley, Arizona (2 reports)
Phoenix, Arizona
Prescott, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Atascadero, California
Bonsall, California
Fallbrook, California
Hayward, California
Inyokern, California
Lakeside, California
Los Banos, California
Manteca, California
Merced, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Visalia, California
Wildomar, California
Grand Junction, Colorado
Pueblo, Colorado
Jacksonville, Florida
Olathe, Kansas
Las Vegas, Nevada (3 reports)
Pahrump, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 reports)
Alcalde, New Mexico
La Luz, New Mexico
Socorro, New Mexico
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
El Paso, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Concrete, Washington

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