Hybrids between plants in different genera are rare, with
the exception of the orchid family. Chitalpa is one of these rarities, a hybrid
between two North American plants, Catalpa
bignonioides and Chilopsis linearis.
Reportedly, this hybrid produces no seeds. Chitalpa is a multi-stemmed tree, or
very large shrub, to about thirty feet tall. Its leaves are elliptical,
intermediate between the narrow, willow-like leaves of Chilopsis and the broad, heart-shaped leaves of Catalpa. Flowers are borne on short
spikes at the branch tips throughout the growing season. Flowers are shades of
pink, similar to but smaller than the flower of a catalpa. Chitalpa is a
drought tolerant plant, much like Chilopsis.
Light: full sun
Water: drought tolerant
Soil: well-drained, no other special requirements
This is a plant for a dry, sunny spot. In a moist situation
or in shade, it suffers from foliage diseases that make the plant unattractive.
It is an uncommon plant in Florida,
better known in Texas.