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Northern Catalpa Fact Sheet

Family:  Bignoniaceae - Trumpet-creeper family
Latin name:  Catalpa speciosa
Common name:  Northern catalpa
Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree summer habit Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree winter habit Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree leaves Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree buds and leaves Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree twigs and buds Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree flowers Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree flowers and fruit Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree fruit Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree fruit Catalpa speciosa - Northern catalpa tree seeds
GENERAL: A short-trunked, broad-crowned tree, to 49', native to southern states, but now widely planted and frequently escaped in the eastern U.S. Usually planted for its shade and flowers, the wood is durable and useful for posts. (1)

LEAVES: Opposite or whorled, simple, heart-shaped, 6"-10" long and 6" wide; margin entire or wavy; smooth above, hairy beneath. (1)
TWIGS: Stout, yellow-brown; no buds at the ends. Side buds small, appear to be hidden in bark. Large, nearly round, depressed leaf scars are characteristic. (1)

FLOWERS in July, arranged in terminal clusters about 10" long; each showy flower white with yellow and purple spots, 2" in diameter. (1)
FRUIT: Bean-like capsule, to 15" long, ½" wide, halves separating when ripe, may persist on tips of branches all winter(1)
Capsule contains many seeds, each with long white hairs on both ends.
BARK: Light brown, shallowly ridged and scaly. (1)
Alternate Names: Hardy catalpa, western catalpa, Catawba, Catawba-tree, cigar tree, Indian bean tree, Indian cigar, Shawnee wood, early-flowering catalpa. The name ‘catalpa’ comes from the Cherokee Indian language as the word for the tree. ‘Speciosa’ means “showy” for the large and numerous flowers.

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Karren Wcisel © copyright 2004 - 2009

Send email to Karrenw@aol.com

Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs of the tree are often available.

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Top of Page
Karren Wcisel © copyright 2004 - 2012

Send email to Karrenw@aol.com

Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs of the tree are often available.

TreeTopics.com  Home Page