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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Chilopsis linearis | Desert Willow

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SPECIES: Chilopsis linearis | Desert Willow
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Desert willow is occasionally used for fence posts and fuel [14,46]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Livestock: Livestock generally do not browse desert willow. It is consumed only when other forage is scarce [18,46]. Wildlife: Various species of birds eat desert willow seeds [12,46]. Hummingbirds are attracted to the showy flowers and feed on the nectar [3,12]. Mule deer eat small quantities of the leaves and fruit [34]. PALATABILITY : Desert willow is considered to be unpalatable to livestock and low in palatability to wildlife [5]. The presence of cyanogenic glycosides may account for its low palatability [50]. Following fire, however, tender sprouts may be highly palatable. Two months after a July wildfire in southern California, 55 percent of available desert willow sprouts were browsed by mule deer, bighorn sheep, and cottontail rabbits, but this use declined to about 1 percent within 1 year [41]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : The sucrose in desert willow nectar is a good energy source for bees and hummingbirds [3]. COVER VALUE : Desert willow provides nesting sites for desert songbirds and cover for other wildlife species [20]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Desert willow is used in soil stabilization plantings. It is often used along highways and in well-drained barrow ditches [36]. Numerous cultivars are available, including 'Barranco', released by the Soil Conservation Service [40], and 'White Storm', 'Dark Storm', 'Marfa Lace', 'Alpine', and 'Tejas', released in 1988 from the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center [36,39]. It is usually transplanted from nursery stock. Removing competing vegetion around transplants and irrigating during the first season after transplanting is recommended [48]. Methods for growing seedlings in a nursery have been discussed [15,48]. Plants may be successfully propogated by both softwood and hardwood cuttings [7,48]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Desert willow is cultivated as an ornamental because of its attractive flowers [38]. It has been used for roadside beautification, border rows, screenings, and mass plantings [48]. In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps planted desert willow in shelterbelts [35]. Indians used the wood to make bows and baskets [35,46]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Use of desert willow by livestock generally indicates overbrowsing or overstocking of the range [45,48].

Related categories for Species: Chilopsis linearis | Desert Willow

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Information Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Fire Effects Information System

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