Campsis radicans trumpet creeper Bignoniaceae CARA2*; Bx, pb, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY (DeCandido 2001); Q, a, j; R, bm, lp, wp;

Campsis radicans.Plant Resources Center and Bio406d at the University of Texas at

Campsis radicans.Plant Resources Center and Bio406d at the University of Texas at (Accessed 4/2014).

Campsis radicans is a woody vine to 10 m long, bark on older stems yellowish-gray, shredding, younger stems smooth, pale brown; stems several from base, twining, short aerial roots at nodes adhere very strongly to climbing surface (Scheper 2007); new growth green; winter leaf scars with one central vein scar (Harlow 1946); may cause slight skin irritation when handled (Russell et al. 1997). 

Leaves opposite, pinnately compound, leaflets opposite, 7-15, 3-7 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, egg-shaped, tip abruptly long-pointed, base abruptly contracted and extending down leaflet stalk, veins impressed above, margin coarsely, irregularly toothed. 

Flowers bright red-orange to pale orange, tubular, trumpet-shaped, slightly bilaterally symmetrical, 6-8 cm long, 2 cm wide, tube slightly curved, petal lobes 5, rounded, much shorter than tube, slightly unequal, calyx tubular, with 5 short, pointed teeth; stamens 4, shorter than corolla, ovary superior (Yatskievych 2006); inflorescence of dense, flat-topped unbranched clusters (corymbs) of 2-5 flowers; pollinated most effectively by ruby-throated hummingbirds, also visited by honeybees, bumblebees, and Halictid bees. Visited occasionally at night by Sphingid moths. Orioles often steal nectar by slashing base of petal tube (Bertin 1982); blooms June-July. 

Fruit green, becoming dry, 10-18 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, pointed at both ends, an elongate pod, splitting open along both ribs to release 300 or more flat seeds winged at both ends; fruits Sept.-Oct.. Pods often attacked by beetle or fly larvae that damage or destroy many seeds. Seeds wind dispersed. 

Wetland status: FAC. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native to New Jersey and south through the Gulf Coast but naturalized as far north as Canada (Scheper 2007; USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Habitat: Open, second growth, edges, soil pH 4.9-6.8, tolerant of drought and fire; intolerant of anaerobic soil, salt, shade (USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Notes: Grows aggressively and may be invasive under some conditions. Attractive to some ants (Scheper 2007). 

Paulownia tomentosa princess tree Bignoniaceae PATO*p; Bx, br, cf, pb, sn, sv (Torrey 2017), vc; NY, ct, hb, mn, rr, wr; Q, a, cu (Greller 1977), ft, j; K; R, ah, bd, cs, fk, hs (1 planted), jl, k, lp, pm, pr, sm, t, x;



Paulownia (Accessed 8/2014).

Paulownia tomentosa is a tree to 15 m, bark rough with interlaced smooth areas, twigs stout sprinkled with small raised lenticels, new growth sticky-hairy, pith hollow or chambered; leaf scars round, vein scars numerous, forming a circle within leaf scar (Harlow 1946); very fast growing, indeterminate growth pattern (Gargiullo personal observation).

Leaves opposite, stalk 8-20 cm long, blade 15-25 cm long, heart-shaped, or 3-5-angled, tip long-pointed, base lobed, surface finely hairy above, densely hairy to wooly below; leaves expand late May, after blooming; winter plant leafless 193 days (Britton 1874). 

Flowers blue-purple with yellow stripes in throat, showy, tubular, 5-7 cm long, in large clusters at ends of branches; blooms mid-May. 

Paulownia tomentosa.fruit (Accessed 8/2014).

Paulownia tomentosa.fruit (Accessed 8/2014).

Fruit dry, hollow, oval, with pointed tip, dark brown, 3-4 cm long, Sept.-Oct., persistent through winter; seeds tiny, winged, wind dispersed through winter; seeds require light to germinate. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in New York City: Common. 

Origin: China. 

Habitat: Edges, escaped from cultivation, somewhat invasive. Pioneer on well-drained bare soil, disturbed areas, open successional woodlands. 


Paulownia (Accessed 1/2017).

Notes: Growth rate 8.02 (relative to 9.24 for B. populifolia and 0.99 for sugar maple). Growth rate was found to correlate well with relative shade tolerance (Grime 1965). Ozone tolerant. Very intolerant of shade. No major diseases or pests. A fungus, Phyllosticta paulowniae causes brown spots on leaves (Burns and Honkala 1990; Sinclair et al. 1987).    

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).

Catalpa bignonioides southern catalpa Bignoniaceae CABI(*);Q i, j, u; R, gr, lp, pr, sv;


Catalpa bignonioides tree in bloom. Arte Y Jardinería.

Catalpa bignonioides tree in bloom. Arte Y Jardinería. (Accessed 12/2017).

Catalpa bignonioides is a tree to 15 m tall, branches widely spreading; bark gray, flaky, twigs stout, hairless, pith continuous, leaf scars opposite, broad, nearly circular, vein scars forming a ring inside leaf scars; winter buds. 

Leaves opposite, often whorled at ends of twigs, stalk 8-16 cm; blade, 10-20 cm long, 7-20 cm wide, broadly egg to heart-shaped, finely hairy below, tip abruptly pointed, base blunt to slightly lobed, smooth above, finely hairy below, unpleasant odor when crushed, expanding in late May; winter plant leafless 184 days (Britton 1874). 

Catalpa bignonioides.David G. Smith.New England Wild Flower

Catalpa bignonioides.David G. Smith.New England Wild Flower (Accessed 12/2014).

Flowers white with 2 yellow stripes inside, densely purple-spotted, broadly tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, 3- 4 (5) cm wide across top, lower petal lobes entire, May-June; inflorescence 15-20 cm. 

Fruit dry, hollow, linear, thin-walled 20-40 cm long, 0.6-0.8 cm wide, splitting open to release seeds, wings gradually narrowed at ends, with tuft of short hairs with tufts of hair at tips of wings, pods persistent on tree into winter. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in New York City: Occasional. 

Catalpa (Accessed 7/2014).

Origin: Southern U.S. escaped from cultivation in north (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986). 

Habitat: Second growth, woodland, edges, fill, weedy, soil pH 5.5-7.5 (USDA, NRCS 2010). 

Notes: Rather short lived 40-50 years (USDA, NRCS 2010). Much like C. speciosa but smaller and blooming about 2 weeks later (see below).