Herbs & Plants

Desert willow

Botanical Name :Chilopsis linearis
Family: Bignoniaceae
Tribe: Tecomeae
Genus: Chilopsis
Species: C. linearis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Desert willow, Flowering willow, Willow-leaved catalpa, Trumpet flower

Habitat :Desert willow  is  native to the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Desert-willow is a 15-40 ft., slender-twigged, small tree or large shrub, often with leaning, twisting trunk and open, spreading crown. Leaves are deciduous, willow-like, light green, both opposite and alternate, 4–12 inches long and 1/3 inch wide. The blossom is funnel-shaped, 1–1 1/2 inches long, spreading at the opening into 5 ruffled, petal-like lobes. The flower is dark pink or purple, often with white or yellow and purple streaks within the throat. The catalpa-like flowers are borne in terminal racemes. By early autumn, the violet-scented flowers, which appear after summer rains, are replaced by slender seedpods, 6–10 inches long, which remain dangling from the branches and serve to identify the tree after the flowers are gone.


Cultivation and uses:
It is cultivated for its large showy flowers, and tolerance of hot, dry climates. Although the natural growth is a very irregular shape, it can be readily pruned into a conventional tree shape. A number of cultivars have been selected, some (e.g. ‘Rio Salado’) with flowers of a dark and rich purple or magenta shades.

Chilopsis is closely related to the genus Catalpa and hybrids can be made between the two genera. The nothogeneric hybrid between Chilopsis linearis and Catalpa bignonioides has been named ×Chitalpa tashkentensis; as the name suggests, this hybrid was first raised in a botanic garden at Tashkent in Uzbekistan. It has broader leaves, up to 4 cm broad.

Medicinal Uses;
In northern Mexico, the flowers are made into a tea and a moist hot poultice.  It is used for hectic coughing with a flushed face and the sensations of chest and lung tiredness with a rapid, thin pulse.  The powdered leaves and bark are an excellent first aid dusted liberally on scratches, rock scrapes, etc.  The tincture works similarly.  Its most important use is due to its anti-fungus and anti-Candida properties.  As a tea or a tincture, it inhibits Candida suprainfections.  It can be uses as a douche for candidiasis as well.  Useful after antibiotic therapy, especially combined with Echinacea and/or Chaparro Amargosa.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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