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Catalpa speciosa

Catalpa speciosa (Warder) Warder ex Engelm.

 

Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyBignoniaceaeAfter the Abbe Jean Paul Bignon (1662-1743)
GenusCatalpaFrom the Catawba Native American name catawba for these trees (the tribal totem), with the spelling catalpa being due to a transcription error on the part of the describing botanist (Scopoli)
SpeciesspeciosaShowy

About plant names...

”Northern” catalpa, also called western catalpa, is native to the American midwest.

Identification: Trees are 49-98' (15-30 m) tall and about 39' (12 m) around. Bark is brown or gray-brown, furrowed, eventually forming rough, scaly plates, sometimes with upturned, peeling edges. Leaves are heart-shaped (rarely with a point on each side), 8-12" (20-30 cm) × 6-8" (15-20 cm), with pointed tips. They are opposite, or in whorls of three. Large showy flowers are white, five-petaled, with yellow and purple spots on their interiors. They appear in clusters 8-12" (20-30 cm) long. Fruits are equally showy, resembling long, somewhat curved string beans 10-18" (25-45 cm) in length. Each fruit is ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) in diameter, and green, maturing to brown, persisting through the winter.

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

Flowers of Catalpa speciosa, from the Arboretum of Rendeux, Rendeux, Belgium. By Jean-Pol Grandmont.

Online References:

Catalpa speciosa on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Catalpa speciosa at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Catalpa speciosa at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Catalpa speciosa at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Catalpa speciosa on FLORIDATA

References:

Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 390

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

8/4/2013 · Barry’s, Acton, MA
≈ 31 × 21" (79 × 53 cm)

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

6/22/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

6/22/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

8/16/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

11/29/2009 · Rail Trail, Ayer, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

8/4/2013 · Barry’s, Acton, MA

Catalpa speciosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

8/4/2013 · Barry’s, Acton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

7/2/2010 · Mt Vernon Trail, along Potomac River
≈ 24 × 36" (60 × 90 cm) ID is uncertain

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

6/22/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

7/2/2010 · Mt Vernon Trail, along Potomac River
≈ 36 × 24" (90 × 60 cm) ID is uncertain

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

6/22/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

8/16/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 16" (31 × 40 cm)

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

The catalpa along the Potomac river is festooned with riverbank grapevines (Vitis riparia). · 7/2/2010 · Mt Vernon Trail, along Potomac River
≈ 8 × 5' (2.4 × 1.6 m) ID is uncertain

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

6/22/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Catawba-tree)

7/2/2010 · Mt Vernon Trail, along Potomac River
≈ 6½ × 4½' (2 × 1.4 m) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 4-8:

About this map...