Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid

Long Blooming in Fragrant, Orchid-Like Flowers
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Features to Note


6 - 9

Mature Height

8 Feet

Mature Width

6 Feet

Light Requirements

Full Sun

Moisture Requirements

Moist, well-drained

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range
6 - 9
My Hardiness Zone

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The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatibility range of this variety before ordering.


A Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Shrubs variety, Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid is a deciduous shrub or miniature tree that blooms in late spring/early summer, continuing sporadically throughout the summer. The fragrant, dark purple, pollinator-friendly flowers look very much like orchids and attract bees to the garden.

Chitalpa El Niño is an intergeneric hybrid of desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) and catalpa (Catalpa sp.), commonly called desert orchid. Its tolerance to poor soils and dry heat comes from Chilopsis, and its mildew resistance is attributed to Catalpa. Its compact, pyramidal habit of light-green leaves makes El Niño a gorgeous specimen, but it is shown to best effect when massed or grouped in beds, borders, and foundation plantings. It also makes a great screen or hedge.

Chitalpa El Niño grows best in sunny to partly sunny locations with well-draining soil. At the colder end of its hardiness range, it may die back to the ground in cold winters. Wait until new growth begins to emerge before removing any dead wood. Any desired pruning should be done in early spring.

A native hybrid, Chitalpa El Niño is indigenous to North America. Native plants are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly. Naturally adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the region, they thrive without fertilizers or extra watering, once established. They also act as natural pest controls, reducing the need for pesticides in the garden. Landscaping with native plants promotes biodiversity and provides shelter and quality food for wildlife and pollinators, bringing gardens to life.


Genus: x Chitalpa
Species: hybrid
Variety: 'NCXC1'
Item Form: 1-Quart
Category: Shrubs
Bloom Season Start: Early Summer
Bloom Season End: Late Summer
Bloom Color: Magenta
Habit: Upright
USDA Zone Low: 6
USDA Zone High: 9
Uses: Beds, Specimen
Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9
State Shipping Restrictions: GU, HI, ID, PR, VI
Shipping Method Restrictions: none
Discount Exempt: No



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