χ Chitalpa tashkentensis

chitalpa

  • © www.wikipedia.org Frau Siebenschläfer

  • © www.wikipedia.org - Frau Siebenschläfer

Outstanding Qualities

× Chitalpa tashkentensis is a bizarre hybrid between two unlikely parents, the Catalpa bignonioides, the cigar tree, and Chilopsis linearis, the desert willow. The result is a great, relatively drought tolerant small tree that flowers from mid summer until early autumn. The flowers are on short stems at the ends of the branches and each flower is reminiscent of a foxglove bloom. Two cultivars are usually available, ‘Pink Dawn’ has soft pink flowers and a broad habit while ‘Morning Cloud’ has flowers that are very pale pink to near white with a more upright habit. Both clones are sterile and will not produce messy seed pods. The thin leaves and open branching casts a light shade making it easy to garden under.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: round tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: pink, white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established or occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: long lasting flowers from mid-summer to early autumn

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: bronze, burgundy

Great Color Partners: lavendar, pink, purple, silver, white

Culture Notes
This great small tree needs full sun to flower at its best. Provide a location with well-drained soils in a spot that does not become saturated in the winter. Chitalpa will thrive in sandy soils. Once established it is drought tolerant, but flowering is improved with occasional summer watering. Little pruning is necessary other than removing dead, broken or poorly formed branches.
Geek Notes
Hybrid plants using two different genera (called intergeneric hybrids) are not very common, but this cross is between between Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) and Catalpa bignonoides (southern catalpa). In 1964 this intergeneric hybrid was created by a Professor Russanov living in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Robert Hebb of the New York Botanic Garden brought it to the United States in 1977.