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Pink chitalpa is a medium size deciduous tree developing a dome shaped canopy and growing rapidly to 20-30 ft. tall and as wide. Medium green leaves grow 4-5 in. long, to 1 in. wide and grow on twisting branches. Trumpet-shaped flowers are pink to white, with purple markings and occur in showy clusters from late spring into early summer.

Pink chitalpa is hybrid between Catalpa bignonioides, Common catalpa, and Chilopsis linearis, Desert willow. It combines the larger flower size of the former species, with the linear leaves and desert adaptations of the latter. As a result, this hybrid provides a highly attractive combination of flowers, foliage and adaptations to many growing conditions. In Inland Empire gardens and landscapes it is grown as a low branched specimen for use in courtyards and as a single trunk tree that is planted as a street and yard tree. It tolerates frost, sun and heat, and low amounts of water during the summer.

Water Needs

The Pink chitalpa is well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire where it can be sustained with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. Deep watering is recommended from spring through fall to sustain the best flowering performance and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.
Width: 20 ft. - 30 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Pink, White
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Shade Tree, Screening, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Attracts butterflies


Prune when young to develop desired long term structure. While Chitalpa may be grown as either a single or multi-trunk tree, they really naturally want to grow as multi-trunk trees or large shrubs. Single trunk trees often take on a strong lean in the landscape or as street trees, so be prepared to accept this if you want a single trunk tree. Your best chance to have a straight trunk will be to carefully and property stake the tree, loosening and then removing the stakes carefully as the tree is able to support itself and gain it's own strength. Main pruning should be done in winter when dormant. Remove suckers (vigorous shoots growing from the base of the tree) as they form, any time of year (D,S).



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