Desert Willow Tree

Last updated on May 18th, 2024 at 06:47 am

The Desert Willow Tree (Chilopsis linearis) is a low-watering and spring-blooming tree. It does well in the In dry arid areas of the Southwest.  The leaf is long, narrow and curved thus its botanical name Linearis.

The one pictured below is the most common.  There are several varieties that you can use for your desert landscaping needs.  A true native Desert willow tree is prevalent along the arroyos and ditch banks of the desert southwest.  Desert Willows are drought tolerant after the first year of planting.  They propagate themselves when the seed pods dry and fall to the ground.  USDA zones 7-9.

Desert Willow Tree

The natural or native desert willow is drought tolerant and provides long-lasting blooms. It is deciduous in the southwest with long purple trumpet-like flowers. Moderate grower up to 30ft. tall and 15ft wide. You can trim it for a great-looking medium-size shade tree or leave it alone for a multi-trunk type large shrub. Plant several of them in a row for a tremendous border-type shrub.

Burgundy Desert Willow

Below is the  Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’ desert willow.  Very similar to the one above but the flowers are a darker burgundy color, thus it’s named. The height and width are the same as the native Desert Willow.  More about this tree over at

Desert Willow Tree

Burgundy Desert Willow
The Burgundy Desert Willow in front of a home.  It can give shade and beauty to any southwestern-decor home.

The Timeless Beauty Desert Willow Tree (Chilopsis Linearis)

This is a drought-tolerant small desert tree and will do well in a desert landscape.  Unlike the other Desert Willows mentioned above this one produces no seed pods and blooms longer than the regular Desert Willow. This means minimal cleanup or maintenance during the fall season.

Hummingbirds and butterflies love the trumpet-like blooms—a beautiful easy-care tree for rock landscapes or Xeriscape Gardens.

A good companion shrub for the Desert Willow Tree would be the Yellow Bird of Paradise plant.
Another good shrub is the Red Bird of Paradise plant

It is a longer, more colorful desert gardening smaller tree. Ask for them at your nearest Garden Store. Guzman’s Garden Centers will usually have this type of tree in stock during the spring and summer seasons.  Will do well in USDA Zone: 7-9.

You can see pictures and more information over at website.

The Rio Salado Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis ‘Rio Salado’” is another variety that will grow about 15ft. tall and wide.  It is drought-tolerant and produces bright purple flowers in early spring.

Check out our Xeriscape Landscaping Ideas Page.

Insects on Desert Willow Trees

Desert Willow trees are insect and disease resistant, but they will on occasion develop problems.  One insect that attacks these trees is the flathead borer.  Keep your eye on borers underneath the bark this is where they will hide and do damage.  It’s best to treat desert willow trees with systemic insecticides.

Flathead borer
The Flathead borer on a tree branch

Spraying with dormant or agricultural oil during the late winter seasons will help keep insect larvae from hatching.  Thus, fewer insects during the spring and summer seasons. Do this early every spring to keep the insect population at bay

The Bubba Desert Willows

A hybrid Desert Willow tree suited for hot climates it is named after Warren Jones, an author, dendrophile, and professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona.  Pink blooms and fewer seed pods to deal with.  You can read more about these Hyrbrid trees that are adapted to arid dry climates at Nurserymag.

Desert Willow Bubba Jones

The “Sweet Bubba Jones” Desert Willow from Civano Nurseries.  Larger blooms and dark burgundy color.  This Hybrid Desert Willow is seedless.

Sweet Bubba Desert Willow

Desert Willow Trees

Most of our desert trees come from Wholesale Nurseries and Civano Nursery. 

Weeping Willow Landscape


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Previous Post
How to grow organic potatoes
Guzman's Greenhouse Posts Organic Gardening Outdoor Plants

How to grow organic Potatoes

Next Post
Monstera plant care light
Guzman's Greenhouse Posts Indoor Plants

Monstera plant care light

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Larry Gamache
Larry Gamache
5 years ago

which is the better tree for my Yuma Arizona climate. I cannot decide between Desert Willow or Jacaranda Tree.

Paul Guzman
5 years ago
Reply to  Larry Gamache

Both trees have beautiful blooms. The Jacaranda Tree will bloom gorgeous purple fragrant blooms in October or so. They do not tolerate freezing temps. But in Yuma, they should do fine. They can grow up to 50ft. in 30-40 years or so. The Desert willow tree can tolerate freezing temperatures. They are hardy and the blooms will start in late April and well into mid-summer. The new hybrids have a deeper darker burgundy color. I would recommend the Jacaranda tree for your area.

Jann Trudell
Jann Trudell
4 years ago

Desert Willow Tree (Chilopsis linearis)
Is this tree safe for dogs? I have puppies that chew everything.
I really like shopping at your stores

Paul Guzman
4 years ago
Reply to  Jann Trudell

Hello, Jann, The Desert willow trees are not poisonous. Matter of fact the blooms and seed pods are edible. They are safe trees for dogs, cats are other animals. You can also search for “Are Desert Willow trees Poisonous”? Your findings will collaborate with my reply.

2 years ago

Do you have native desert willows in stock? What other native plants do you carry? I want to add as many native plants as I can to my property.

Paul Guzman
2 years ago
Reply to  zendegy

Yes, we do have Desert Willows in stock. We also have native plants. Agaves, Ocotillos, Yuccas, and more. It is best to visit one of our stores at 540 N. Telshor or 270 Avenida de Mesilla to see what we currently have. More native plants arrive in late spring-early summer.

1 year ago

I’m wondering if a Desert Willow has a big root structure as I’m intending to plant one 2 feet from a wall I want it to grow in front of as well as a couple of sprinkler stations.
Are they able to be kept cut back at about 12-15 feet?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Verified by MonsterInsights