En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
3 ratings

Monday - October 03, 2011

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Trees
Title: Source for Desert Willow from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I'm looking for a source for chilopsis linearis. I live in Dallas, TX. None of the specialty nurseries in Dallas seem to be able to source it. Is there any local source? Is there any source within TX who could ship it to me? California and Arizona nurseries have it in stock but apparently are not permitted to ship to TX.


Do you know anyone in your area that is growing Desert Willow? One reason we ask this is that the Propagation Instructions on our webpage on Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow) (follow link to read webpage) are:

"Propagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings
Description: Propagate by fresh seed, dormant cuttings, or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.
Seed Collection: Gather seeds from late summer through autumn when the pods have dried and turned brown but before they split open to release feathery seeds. Seeds may be stored dry in the refrigerator over winter (other references suggest storage in wet sand) but germinate best if sown fresh."

If you can find some, perhaps you will be able to beg some seeds or cuttings, and create your own plants. If you can't, maybe that's a message on why there are no suppliers in your area. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that there are, indeed, some growing in Dallas County, but it is very isolated from the other clusters of counties where the tree grows natively.

We found (on our webpage) one place close to Austin that sells the plants: Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX. The next semi-annual Fall Plant Sale at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is October 14 to 16, here is information on it, and the Plant List includes Chilopsis linearis. We don't ship plants, and plants sold at our sales are native to Central Texas. Although some will grow in other areas,  our lists are always tentative, we can't guarantee that any plant will be on sale when you get here.

We also found two seed companies that sell the seeds; they must surely do mail order, and since seeding is considered the best method of propagation, we suggest you explore that possibility.

Armenta Seed in Arizona

SS Seeds in Carpinteria CA

Finally, we do want to warn you that growing a plant with "desert" in its common name is always going to be risky where there isn't a desert. We know it's been hot and dry all over Texas this year, but you know what we're talking about.


From the Image Gallery

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Landscape professional to maintain native plants
December 20, 2014 - Had native plants & buffalo grass professionaly planted earlier this year. Have had trouble finding maintenance services for our yard. Any suggestions on how to find a knowledgeable crew? Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Source of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass
February 23, 2005 - Will you kindly refer me to a grower from whom I may purchase plugs of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass. for a meadow installation in zone 6.
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Star plant from Bastrop LA
June 10, 2010 - Please tell me where I can get a Texas Star plant?
view the full question and answer

Source for Bigelow oak in Austin
February 03, 2010 - Hi folks! I noticed on my last visit to the Wildflower Center that you now have a shrub white oak/Bigelow oak which I think is new (maybe I was just seeing it for the first time). I absolutely love ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing firs with smaller plants
October 22, 2009 - I want to pull out old fir bushes and plant smaller plants in their place. What could I buy that would take little care in my area?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center