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Catalpa speciosa

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kah-TAL-pah speh-see-OH-sah
Description

Catalpa speciosa, otherwise known as northern catalpa is a medium to large sized deciduous tree with showy white flowers that have bright yellow stamen and purple patters on the inside of the flower. They flower in late spring to early summer. The foliage is noted to be very large and it produces long, showy, green seed pods that have a bean-like capsule. The leaves are very broad with a length of up to a foot with an ovate shape. These leaves turn a bright yellow in the fall which eventually will turn black. This tree has a rounded crown with spreading branches, coarse leaves, and brittle wood.

These trees are native to the North American south around Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri as well as southern Indiana and Illinois. They prefer full sun or part shade and are tolerant of most soil conditions though it prefers a moist loam with plenty of organic material.

The name Catalpa is derived from the Muscogee Native American tribe's name for the tree "kutuhlpa" and the species name speciosa is a specific epithet meaning 'showy'.

Similarly to others of the Catalpa genus, this species does not have a serious problem with diseases or insects however could be susceptible to verticillium wilt, leaf spot, mildew, and twig blight. The larvae of the catalpa sphinx moth also feed on the foliage, which can result in considerable damage

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#shade tree#songbirds#full sun#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#large leaves#playground#wet sites#flooding#NC native#children's garden#part shade#native garden#seed pods#Braham Arboretum#winged seeds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#shade tree#songbirds#full sun#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#large leaves#playground#wet sites#flooding#NC native#children's garden#part shade#native garden#seed pods#Braham Arboretum#winged seeds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Catalpa
    Species:
    speciosa
    Family:
    Bignoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. U.S.A. to Utah
    Distribution:
    range from ME west to ND to UT south to TX east to GA
    Play Value:
    Pieces Used in Games
    Shade
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 8 in. - 4 ft. 2 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Irregular
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    long bean like fruit
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Description:
    Upright panicle of white, bell-shaped flowers with orange stripes and purple spots and stripes; long, bean-like fruit
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    6-12 in whorled or opposite simple poor pinnately veined entire margined yellow-green to brown soft pubescence underside leaf
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    grey to reddish brown irregular shallow fissures and scaly ridged bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil