When it comes to summer blooming trees, the Chitalpa, is in my opinion, one of the most beautiful! It is not a very well known tree, so it is a great time of year to come and see it in bloom at the Garden Centre.
We planted ours about 10 years ago. Like most of the other trees Nigel and I have added to our garden, it began as a bit of a misfit. It was a healthy tree, although not perfectly shaped, so Nigel and I decided we would give it a spot. It has repaid us by developing into a lovely shaped, rounded, multi-trunked tree of about 15 feet that may reach as tall as 25 feet in time.
The individual flowers of the tree are sometimes described as being like azalea, orchid or snapdragon flowers and indeed they do resemble all of these. These lovely flowers are the softest blush colour with rose markings and yellow throats and are loosely held in large panicles (cone-shaped bundles) above the branches. The slender leaves are about 4 inches long and medium green.
Chitalpa trees are a cross between a desert tree, Chilopsis linearis and the fairly well know large leaved Catalpa bignonioides. In fact the flowers are very similar to the Catalpa but they get their ruggedness from the Chilopsis. That being said it is understandable that they would need a sunny location and very good drainage. Once established they are very drought tolerant. Read More