Paulownia tomentosa

  • BOTANICAL NAME:  Paulownia tomentosa
  • COMMON NAME:  Empress-tree
  • FAMILY:   Bignoniaceae
  • NATIVITY:  Invasive
  • GROWTH HABIT:  30-50' (80'), Rounded, dense crown, resembles C. bignonioides
  • HARDINESS:  USDA Zone (5) 6 - 9
  • OPTIMUM GROWING CONDITIONS:  Warm, mid-south, east coast moist to warm soils.  Extremely weedy
  • SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:  Successional
  • FACULTATIVE STATUS:  Facultative Upland
  • LANDSCAPE VALUE:  Large, purple flowers are attractive in the summer.
  • FOLIAGE:  Usually opposite but sometimes whorled, simple, broad-ovate, large pubescent leaves.
  • BUDS: Obvious all winter, very pubescent.
  • BARK:  Olive brown color and heavily lenticelled.
  • FRUIT:  Light brown aging to dirty brown.  Non ornamental.
  • PESTS:  None serious, though leaf spots, mildew bug, and twig canker can occur
  • IMAGES (click to enlarge)
Plant (1)
Plant (2)
Plant (3)
Bud (1)
Bud (2)
Flower (1)
Flower (2)


University of Delaware

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