The Chitalpa tasketiensis is a hybrid, created in the sixties by crossing catalpa bignonioides with chilopsis linearis; the result is a small tree, or even a big shrub, with deciduous leaves, and with a very rapid growth, which bears well the winter cold and the summer drought. The adult specimens can reach the 8-9 metres of height, in about ten years; the stem is erect, often formed by multiple trunks. The foliage is wide, roundish, quite thick.
The foliage is oval in shape, lanceolate, excused green in colour, slightly leathery and waxy; it tends to fall in a small period of time, in winter. From late spring to autumn, it produces big bunches formed by big pink flowers, with a trumpet shape, very showy. The abundant and prolonged flowering and the fairly small size make this tree very suitable for cultivation in the garden, even as a shady tree.
The cultivation for ornamental purposes for now seems to be widespread mainly in North America, while in Europe this tree is still considered “exotic” despite its European origin.
The Chitalpa tasketiensis trees prefer well-lit and sunny locations, although they can bear a few hours of slight shade per day. They are resistant specimens, do not fear the cold and usually bear well the snowfalls and the winter frosts. They bear without problems also the wind and the environmental pollution.
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The plants of Chitalpa tasketiensis planted for a long time are satisfied with the rains, but it is good to water the young plants during the driest seasons, in principle, however, the chitalpe have inherited from the chilopsis resistance to drought. For a good flowering during the summer months it is advisable to water occasionally. During the autumn, bury the mature organic fertiliser at the base of the plant.
Check that no water stagnation forms at the base of the plant, which could be dangerous for the health of the plant.
The plants of Chitalpa tashkentensis prefer sandy soils, very well drained, not particularly rich in organic matter. Usually, they can adapt to any type of soil, provided it is well drained and not too compact.
For maximum development it is advisable to bury the plant in a soil mixed with sand, so as to make it lighter and more draining.
The multiplication of this kind of plants usually takes place by semi-woody cutting, in summer; in spring it is possible to sow the seeds of the previous year, or the sowing can be done in autumn or late summer; the young plants are to be cultivated in pot up to a height of 25-45 cm before being planted in order to allow them to acquire the necessary strength to be transplanted.
Chitalpa tasketiensis: Pests and diseases
It is a very resistant tree variety, which is usually not attacked by pests or diseases. For safety, before flowering, it is possible to intervene with specific products that are pesticides and fungicides, so as to preserve even the weakest specimens from possible diseases.