Now, more about Desert Willow. It's not a willow at all - but a catalpa, if that means anything to you. This small tree has willow-shaped leaves and blooms from June through October. The blossoms look like miniature orchids and may be pink, purple, or white. I've read that there is also a yellow variety but have never seen it. I'm picturing a flower that's more cream-colored than yellow.
|Desert Willow 'Bubba'
Desert Willow is fast growing and it tends to be a bit leggy. It may be hard to do, but until your tree is 5 or 6 feet tall, prune it severely. By that, I mean cut it back by a third. Do it in late winter. These trees are deciduous and experience a bit of die back each winter so you'll really feel like you're trimming bare sticks. Your tree will thank you with a much fuller canopy. As a bonus, it flowers on new growth so you'll get more flowers too! Because it flowers on new growth, you can prune it for the shape you want and not sacrifice any blooms.
Desert Willow is fairly new in nurseries but, they should be available throughout Texas. Speaking of Texas, Desert Willow grows just about everywhere in Texas except east Texas. They just get too much rain there - poor people. It grows in a variety of soil types as long as it is well drained.