Chitalpa (Catalpa x Chilopsis)
This tree is a cross of a Southern Catalpa and the Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis). It was created in Russia and has become a popular ornamental tree available here in the U.S. in garden centers in its range. Chitalpa is a small scale tree that is fast growing, and can be either a multi-stemmed or single trunked tree. It can reach 15 feet in just three or four years. Its leaves are longer and broader than desert willow, but much smaller than catalpa. The best feature of this deciduous tree is its all summer flowering. The bloom period is from July to September in areas of the eastern U.S. and March to September in the west. The delicate flowers are a pale lavender-pink borne in large Catalpa-like clusters at the tips of the branches. Although many fast-growing trees are intolerant of windy situations, chitalpa can withstand even strong winds without breakage. Unlike either of its parents, chitalpa is sterile and produces no messy seed pods. Flowers dry on the plant rather then fall fresh and so they don't become a slick safety hazard on a sidewalk or patio.
At least two cultivars are available - pink-flowering 'Pink Dawn' and white 'Morning Cloud.' 'Pink Dawn' is the showier of the two.