The Chitalpa is a cross between Catalpa bignonioides and Chilopsis linearis. The Chilopsis is a desert tree, sometimes called a Desert Willow. From the Chilopsis, the Chitalpa inherits long 3 to 5 inch dark green leaves and the ability to withstand some dry heat. However, unlike its desert parent, the Chitalpa can withstand low temperatures of around minus 15 degrees. In this respect it is more like the Catalpa which is hardy to almost every zone in the United States.
The beautiful azalea like flowers of our Pink Dawn are also similar to those of a Catalpa, but there are no messy catkins like on the Catalpa. The Chitalpa starts flowering in late spring and flowers until late fall. And, while it does drop flowers, the beauty they provide makes whatever mess they make more than tolerable. The Pink Dawn flower above is just one of thousands of blooms that appear each and every day during the many months of bloom provided by this heat tolerant patio tree.