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Chitalpa - Growing Guide
Growing x Chitalpa tashkentensis
These plants are derived from a cross between Catalpa bignonoides and Chilopsis linearis. They have pale or deep pink tube like and frilly flowers in 6in racemes or panicles in June or July and therefore appear similar to catalpa flowers.
We had trouble growing this beautiful small tree properly because we failed to recognise that it needs to grow in a well drained soil in full sun to get it to start flowering. Initially we grew it in too much shade and were puzzled as to why plants in pots in the nursery would produce flowers but not at 6ft in the garden. The tree is very touchy about exposure to cold north or east winds too but, if you get it sited right, it is one of the great midsummer small tree displays.
The largest plant we know of grows happily to 15ft at Ventnor and seems set for rather more. It is easily recognised by its lance shaped leaves which are about 6in long and downy underneath.
As a bigeneric hybrid between two species this tree produces no fruit. It can only be propagated by softwood cuttings taken early in the season and given bottom heat.