Catalpa speciosaCatalpa speciosa

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Catalpa speciosa
  • PRONUNCIATION: ka-TAL-pa  spe-si-O-sa
  • COMMON NAME: Northern Catalpa
  • FAMILY: Bignoniaceae
  • NATIVITY: Western Tennessee west to southern Illinois and south to  Arkansas.
  • GROWTH HABIT: Upright oval tree to 60' or more.  Medium to fast growth rate.  Coarse textured in the winter landscape.
  • HARDINESS:  Zone 5-8
  • CULTURE: Quite adaptable plant.  Tolerates variety of soil conditions: wet to dry, acid to alkaline.  Grows in sun or part shade. Good for very hot, dry sites, city conditions.
  • SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:  Successional
  • FACULTATIVE STATUS:  Facultative
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Upright tree grown for the large, white, 2" flowers borne in 8" panicles. Very attractive in June.  This tree has several problems such as weak wood, persistent fruit and unsightly appearance in late summer, fall.
  • FOLIAGE: Opposite or whorled, simple, ovate, 6"-12" long with an acuminate apex and cordate base.  Medium to light green in color.
  • STEMS: Thick stems with large, round leaf scars.
  • BUDS: Imbricately scaled and small, brown in color. Buds located above large, round, craterlike leaf scars.
  • BARK: Grayish brown, ridged and furrowed.
  • FRUIT: Capsule, 8"-20" long and a/2" wide "cigar."  Dark-brown  fruit contains fringed seed and persists through winter.
  • PROPAGATION:  Seeds, root cutting.
  • PESTS: Leaf spots, mildew, Verticillium wilt.
  • RELATED SPECIES: C. bignonioides identical to above with the following exceptions: Smaller (30'-40'), slightly less hardy, smaller fruit and fringe on seeds is tufted.
University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153