Home & Garden

Want more hummingbirds? Plant this tree

Pollinator Plant List: Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a small tree with spectacular flowers that hummingbirds can’t resist.
Pollinator Plant List: Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a small tree with spectacular flowers that hummingbirds can’t resist.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds” series – 30 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that attract hummingbirds.

Desert willow

Chilopsis linearis

Size: 15 to 20 feet.

Bloom season: Large showy pink or white blooms from mid-May to frost.

Exposure: Full sun.

Pruning needs: Tip prune when young to encourage branching and prune to shape as it ages; naturally multi-trunked.

Water needs: Low to medium; once established, water deeply once a week or every other week.

Snapshot: Imagine a weeping willow with giant catalpa-like flowers. That’s desert willow, which gets its nickname from its long, narrow willow-like leaves. A fast-growing, small deciduous tree, chilopsis is native to desert washes of the southwest. From late spring through frost, it boasts pink or white showy, two-lipped flowers that resemble giant penstemons – a favorite for hummingbirds. Desert willow naturally tolerates heat and drought; weekly irrigation helps promote its flower show.

For more on “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

  Comments