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Catalpa speciosa

Pronunciation: Ka-tal-pa spe-si-o-sa
Family: Bignoniaceae (bignonia family)
Common Name: Northern catalpa, western catalpa, hardy catalpa, indian bean
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 40-70'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Northern catalpa has showy white, bell-shaped flowers with ruffled edges and orange stripes and purple spots on the interior. They are about 2 in (5. 1 cm) in diameter and are held in loose branched 10 in ( 25. 4 cm) clusters at the stem tips. By mid-summer the tree is hung with long 8-20 in (20. 3-50. 8 cm) slender, beanlike pods that persist through winter when they eventually split to release quantities of flat fringed seeds.
Soil Type: Prefers moist, well drained soil but is very adaptable.
  • Yes
Plant Perks:
  • Fall Foliage
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Seedlings or root cuttings. Northern catalpa is easy to transplant seedlings found beneath established trees
Native to: The original range of catalpa speciosa is somewhat uncertain. It is apparently from an area stretching from indiana to northern arkansas where it inhabits the rich valley soils of the mississippi river basin. At one time it was extensively planted for use as fence posts and as a result is widely naturalized throughout the midwestern and parts of the southeastern united states.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - the hardy catalpa is commonly planted as an ornamental for its abundant, showy blossoms and attractive foliage. The large, rich green, heart-shaped foliage creates a beautiful contrasting texture in mixed woodlands. In natural areas and wildlife habitats. Northern catalpa can get weedy and is sometimes seen growing in abandoned lots and neglected area in some cities. The tough and durable northern catalpa was once often planted as an avenue tree, especially in some parts of ohio but isn't used much for that purpose now. Use as a specimen tree on an expanse of lawn or even on a small lawn if the tree is severely trimmed each year (pollarded). Note that untrimmed trees have a habit of shedding twigs, seed pods and other debris. This is a messy tree and should be planted away from swimming pools and outdoor living areas.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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