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X CHITALPA tashkentensis

Image of X Chitalpa tashkentensis

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Bignoniaceae

Botanical Name

X CHITALPA tashkentensis

Plant Common Name

Chitalpa

General Description

An unlikely hybrid between a tree native to the Southeast United States (Catalpa bignonioides) and a shrub native to the deserts of western North America (Chilopsis linearis), this remarkably tough small tree is grown for its showy summer-long display of sumptuous trumpet-shaped flowers. Oddly enough, the first X Chitalpa hybrids were bred in 1964 in Uzbekistan and brought to the United States in 1977 by renowned horticulturist Robert Hebb of the New York Botanic Garden.

Chitalpa trees are naturally multi-stemmed and deciduous. The narrowly lance-shaped leaves appear in spring and are downy and pale green. In fall they turn pretty shades of yellow. The prolific, showy blooms of X Chitalpa are large, frilly, trumpet-shaped, pink or white and have yellow and purple-striped centers. They are sterile and do not produce messy fruit, unlike the parent species, but the flowers are known to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees.

Chitalpa likes sun and well-drained soil on the dry side. In fact, it will not tolerate excess water at the root zone, so be sure to plant in a drier more fast draining soil. Its bark is subject to sunscald, so avoid planting it in hot west-facing sites. Otherwise, it is a colorful and attractive small tree well adapted to hot, dry conditions. It drops its flowers after they wither, and these can be messy, so it may not be suitable for planting poolsides, patios, or walkways.

Several selections of chitalpa are available including the slightly weeping white flowered 'Morning Cloud' and pink-flowered 'Pink Dawn.' The foliage is susceptible to powdery mildew. Branches may also die back due to verticillium wilt.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    15'-30' / 4.6m - 9.1m

  • Width

    15'-30' / 4.6m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Pink, Light Pink, Lavender

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No