Herb: Desert Willow


Latin name: Chilopsis linearis


Family: Bignoniaceae (Trumpet-creeper Family)



Medicinal use of Desert Willow:

A decoction of the flowers is used for coughs and bronchial disturbances.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
9 m
(30 feet)

Flovering:
June

Habitat of the herb:

Gravelly or rocky soils in arid desert washes and desert grasslands, 400 - 1600 metres. Plants attain their greatest size when growing along streams and in low places.

Edible parts of Desert Willow:

The blossoms and seedpods have been used for food.

Other uses of the herb:

The young pliable twigs are woven into baskets. The bark is removed and the shoots are used unsplit as rod foundations in coil basketry. The bark has been used to make shirts and nets. Wood - coarse-grained, soft, weak, rather durable in the soil. Used for fence posts and fuel.

Propagation of Desert Willow:

Seed - we have very little information on this species but would suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. It will probably pay to protect the plants for their first winter or two in the open ground. There are about 75,000 seeds per pound, only half of which are viable. About 4,000 plants are usually raised from a pound of seed. Grows readily from cuttings.

Cultivation of the herb:

Gravelly or rocky soils in arid desert washes and desert grasslands, 400 - 1600 metres. Plants attain their greatest size when growing along streams and in low places.

Known hazards of Chilopsis linearis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.