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Morning Cloud Chitalpa

Chitalpa tashkentensis 'Morning Cloud'

Mature Height*: 

15-20 ft

Mature Width*: 

12-20 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone Range:

6 to 11

Hardy to: 

0°F

Water Requirements: 

Moderate Water

Shade Requirements:

Full Sun

Native to:

Hybrid between Chilopsis linearis, native to Southwestern US & northern Mexico, and Catalpa bigniondes, native to southeastern US.

Origin and Adaptability:

Hailing from the mountainous regions of Central Asia, particularly in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' boasts adaptability to a variety of climates. Its origins in dry, well-drained slopes make it well-suited for landscapes with similar conditions, thriving in full sun and tolerating partial shade. This resilience and versatility offer landscape architects a valuable design option for xeriscaping and drought-tolerant landscapes.

Architectural Form and Foliage:

Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' is a fast-growing, multi-stemmed, small deciduous tree with an ascending and slightly cascading branch structure. It showcases an airy and graceful form, presenting landscape architects with a visually captivating canvas. Its foliage features narrow, bright green leaves that emerge in spring and turn golden yellow in autumn before dropping. This seasonal color change adds another layer of visual interest to the landscape.

Floral Display and Growth Speed:

The star of the show for Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' is its stunning floral display. From late spring to early summer, the tree erupts in a profusion of trumpet-shaped, pale white flowers with purple throats, creating a cloud-like effect that lives up to its cultivar name. These fragrant blooms attract hummingbirds and other pollinators, adding a touch of life and movement to the landscape.

Light and Water Requirements:

Thriving in full sun, Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' reaches its full potential with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. While it can tolerate some shade, providing abundant sunlight enhances its growth, flowering, and overall health. As a drought-tolerant species, once established, it requires minimal watering, making it a low-maintenance choice for water-wise landscapes.

Wildlife Support and Biodiversity:

The fragrant flowers of Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' are a magnet for pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. This makes it a valuable addition to landscapes that support local wildlife and contribute to pollinator conservation efforts. Additionally, the dense foliage provides nesting and cover for birds, further enhancing the biodiversity of the landscape.

Challenges and Considerations:

While generally low-maintenance, landscape architects should consider the mature size and fast-growing nature of Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' during the planning stages. Pruning is recommended to maintain its desired shape and size, especially in smaller landscapes. Regular pruning also encourages denser flowering.

Integration into Landscape Designs:

With its airy form, stunning floral display, and drought tolerance, Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' seamlessly integrates into diverse landscape designs. Landscape architects can use it as a stunning focal point in xeriscape gardens, rock gardens, and mixed borders. Its cascading branches can also be trained to create a beautiful weeping effect, adding a touch of whimsy to the landscape.

Designing with Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud':

For landscape architects and designers, Chitalpa tashkintensis 'Morning Cloud' presents an opportunity to infuse outdoor spaces with delicate floral beauty, wildlife support, and a low-maintenance charm. Whether featured prominently or subtly woven into a diverse plant palette, this adaptable species contributes to the creation of visually dynamic and environmentally conscious landscapes.

*Height and width estimated for growth in the Tucson, AZ area. True sizes may vary.

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