Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Source for dwarf red mulberry from Spring Hill TN
December 08, 2012 - Hello: Where can I buy a dwarf red mulberry tree in the USA? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Purchase source of Coral honeysuckle from New Boston TX
April 21, 2012 - I have been unable to find a supplier in the listings on your website for Lonicera Sempervirens. Many of them had a variety of different plants listed under this name but none were the 20' species. ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plant nurseries
November 29, 2008 - I am in 75862 zip code which is a long way from everywhere. I am trying to find native plant nurseries within 100 miles. Many sites just talk about native plants, and have photos, but very little info...
view the full question and answer

Source for materials for making seedballs
September 01, 2008 - Regarding your answer to the person looking for Red Clay for making seedballs: The Red Clay can be found at Armadillo Clay in Austin, TX. (The inquirer lives in Round Rock). The Wildflower Center arti...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of non-native poinsettias from British Columbia
March 19, 2010 - Hello, I would like to grow my own Christmas poinsettias from seed. Do you know where I may be able to purchase seeds?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.