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Fortune's Empress Tree Paulownia fortunei

Phonetic Spelling
pa-LOH-nee-a for-TOO-nee-eye
Description

Dragontree is a fast-growing deciduous flowering tree native to China and Taiwan and has naturalized in parts of the USA including all areas of NC.  It can grow up to 20 feet a year when young maturing at 50-75 feet tall. In spring it blooms with many clusters of large tubular flowers before leaf-out. The heart-shaped leaves are large up to 9 inches long. 

This tree is used as an ornamental tree and also grown for timber. In Asia, it has been used to help remove heavy metals in contaminated soils, to decrease air pollution and for reforestization.

Dragon Tree is adaptable to soil types as long as they are well-drained and prefers full sun. It is susceptible to root rot in wet soils. It can be used as a shade tree in yards and parks or as a street tree. See the recommended native trees on the left side of the screen.

The University of Florida states it has a high potential for invasiveness and does not recommend planting.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#shade tree#white flowers#large leaves#spring flowers#flowering tree#street tree#fast growing#lavender flowers#lumber#parks#deciduous tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#shade tree#white flowers#large leaves#spring flowers#flowering tree#street tree#fast growing#lavender flowers#lumber#parks#deciduous tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Paulownia
    Species:
    fortunei
    Family:
    Paulowniaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Strong lightweight wood used as lumber, for musical instruments, surfboards and other uses.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Taiwan
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees
    Edibility:
    Flowers can be added to a salad
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Oval capsule, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, filled with numerous (1,000s) small seeds; capsules initially sticky and green, later turning brown and dry, persistent.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    upright clusters of fragrant 1-3 inch long tubular creamy white to pale lavender flowers with a purple throat in mid-spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    5-9 inch long heart-shaped leaves are velvety green above with paler undersides. In tropical climates will be evergreen.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Bark Description:
    Thin, grayish brown with shallow fissures.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stout, light brown stems with numerous light lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees