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Plants of the UNF Campus

Chilopsis linearis - Desert willow
Family Bignoniaceae


The genus Chilopsis contains a single species. It is native to Texas and northern Mexico. Soil with very good drainage is crucial to its success in north Florida. Desert willow leaves are long and narrow. The showy flowers are produced in early summer and can be found in various shades of pink. It can grow into a small tree up to thirty feet tall. The wood and bark of this tree are reported to contain a chemical that has anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. A derivative of this chemical may be useful in the treatment of AIDS.


See this plant at University Center.


A large shrub or small tree from ten to thirty feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: drought tolerant

Soil: well-drained, no other special requirements

In northeast Florida, do not pamper this Texas native. Give it a hot, sunny site with a sandy, well drained soil. It will not survive in a heavy, wet soil.

Chilopsis linearis Chilopsis linearis 2