Catalpa speciosa western catalpa Bignoniaceae CASP(*); Bx, br, pb; NY; Q, a; K; R;


Catalpa speciosa tree in bloom.

Catalpa speciosa tree in bloom. (Accessed 12/2017).

Catalpa speciosa is a tree to 30 m tall, pyramid-shaped, bark reddish-brown, thickly scaly becoming gray-brown, ridged and furrowed in older trees; leaf scars opposite, broad, nearly circular, vein scars forming a ring inside leaf scars. 

Leaves opposite, stalk 10-15 cm long; blade 15-30 cm long, 7-20 cm wide, egg to heart-shaped, tip long-pointed, base blunt to lobed, smooth above, densely hairy below, no odor. 

Catalpa speciosa.commons

Catalpa speciosa.commons (Accessed 12/2014).

Flowers white, with 2 yellow stripes inside, faintly purple-spotted, 5-6 cm wide across top, broadly tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, lower petal lobe notched. 

Catalpa speciosa fruit. Franco Giordana.

Catalpa speciosa fruit. Franco Giordana. (Accessed 12/2017).

Fruit dry, hollow, linear, 20-50 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, seed wings rounded at ends with a flat hairy fringe. 

Wetland status: FAC. 

Frequency in New York City: Infrequent. 

Origin: Southern mid-west US (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986). 

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation. Open areas, edges, moist soil pH 5.5-7. 

Notes: may live about 60 years (USDA, NRCS 2010).