Catalpa speciosa (ka-tall’-pa spee-see-o’-sa)
Family: Bignoniaceae, Trumpet Creeper
- 1d – Leaves whorled (3 or more attached at same node around the stem) — Northern Catalpa
Leaf: Very large, heart-shaped, 6-12 inches long; smooth (entire) margin; long tapering tip. Three (sometimes two) leaves attached at the same point on the stem. Medium green, dull texture; petiole 4-6 inches long.
Bud: Small, embedded in bark most of the year. True terminal (end) bud absent. Six+ loose, pointed, brown scales.
Leaf Scar: Large, raised, round. 12+ raised bundle scars from a closed circle within the scar. Two or three leaf scars encircle the stem at the same node.
Stem: Stout, large lenticles, gray-brown.
Bark: Dark brown; irregular, shallow ridges.
Pith: Solid, white.
Flower: Large, showy white panicles of orchid-like blossoms in May or June. Usually marked with purple.
Fruit: Long (8-20 inches) straight, brown capsule, shaped like a cigar; persistent through winter. Seeds within the capsule are 1 inch long, 1/4 inch wide, flat, tannish-white, fringed at both ends.
Habit: Usually straight trunk, oval form; irregular, sparse branches. 50 feet tall by 25 feet spread. Slow grower.
Culture: Hardier for lower elevations (under 6,000 feet); moderate moisture requirement.