Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa, Flowering Willow, Orchid of the Desert 'Lucretia Hamilton'

Chilopsis linearis

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chilopsis (kye-LOP-sis) (Info)
Species: linearis (lin-AIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Lucretia Hamilton



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bright Yellow


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Boise, Idaho (2 reports)

Marsing, Idaho

Meridian, Idaho (2 reports)

Las Vegas, Nevada

Bend, Oregon

Moody, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 3, 2016, kinderegg from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

Perhaps the most stunning landscaping tree to come out of the American Southwest. Like most desert trees it really grows more like a giant shrub, spreading outward with angular branches. It is used to growing in arroyos/washes evident by its flexible branches, and root buds waiting for fresh soil. Very drought tolerant and tolerant of extreme sun. It freely sees itself but I haven't found mine to root sucker. Humming birds like the flowers.


On Jun 24, 2014, Bellababy from Bend, OR wrote:

I just planted this tree from High Country Gardens, so it's too early to comment, other than to let you know that it can grow in zone 6, according to High Country.


On May 26, 2014, scotjute from Moody, TX wrote:

Have two of these growing in the Moody, Tx. area. The color of mine is best described as deep pink fading to light pink by the stem. Grows well here with little care. Flowers are lovely.


On Aug 26, 2012, idahocactus2 from Boise, ID wrote:

I think someone needs to review the zones listed for this particular plant. This plant can easily be grown in zones down to 5a or so. I have been landscaping with Lucretia Hamilton since about 1995, and have had good luck with them. They are hardy down to at least -10F or more here in the Boise area. I have one client in zone 6, which has 6 of these trees lining their driveway. The trees are at least 12 - 17 feet tall and about 8 feet wide, and covered with thousands of blossoms every year. Our climate is not much different than the middle to higher parts of the Mojave and Chihuahan Deserts here in the Boise area, and I think this is part of its success. Several of the chilopsis varieties do not do well here -- and behave more as shrubs. These are Timeless Beauty, Bubba, Warren Jon... read more