Thursday, June 3, 2010

Desert Willow

Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata)
is a small tree that can have the general appearance of a shrub or a small tree, often with a leaning, twisting trunk and open, spreading crown.
It can grow to 25 feet tall and grows along washes. We found those in this post in a wash leading into the Eagle Mountains
north of the I-10 off the Hayfield Rd. exit . It is not a true willow, but gets the name because of its willow-like leaves.
It is a genus with only one species. It can flower anytime from April to September, depending upon the rains (it appears after rains). The beautiful flowers are light pink
to lavender.
We found trees with different colors right next to each other. The flowers are broadly tubular, up to 1 1/2 inches wide,
have two ruffled upper lobes
and three yellow and magenta-streaked lower lobes.
They have a nice, mellow fragrance and are some of the most beautiful of all desert flowers.
The flowers are followed by long, slender, brown seed capsules. The leaves are green, untoothed, narrow and somewhat sickle-shaped. The bark is brown and rough textured. It is not a true willow.

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