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Northern Catalpa

The Northern Catalpa tree, Catalpa speciosa, is now naturalized in urban and rural areas and is primarily used today as a large ornamental shade tree.  This tree is graced with large, showy white, trumpet-shaped flowers in late spring.  The white flowers are on 4-8 inch long panicles.


Farmers introduced Northern Catalpa to Ohio in order to produce large amounts of relatively lightweight timber for fencepost since the wood is very resistant to rotting.


This deciduous tree is also known as Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, Cigar Tree, and Catawba-Tree.  It may reach heights of 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide.


As a member of the Bignonia Family, it is related to Trumpet Vine, Royal Paulownia, and other species of Catalpa, all of which are known for their showy flowers.


Very tolerant of tough conditions, it withstands wet, dry, alkaline soils and hot, dry environments, but prefers moist, deep soil; should be planted in sun or partial shade.  


Northern Catalpa trees are very fast growing trees with large heart-shaped leaves.   Its narrow crown is oval-shaped or uneven, and it has upright bright green leaves and long, bean-like pods.


What a site this tree becomes when the huge white flowers create a stunning contrast against the solid green background of foliage!


* Large shade tree


* Hardy


* Huge white flowers

Customer Reviews

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Leaves Review by Edna M
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The leaves of a catalpa kind of look like gigantic redbud leaves with their heart shapes. I think they are neat.
Large tree Review by Billie
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The Northern Catalpa is the largest flowering tree I have ever seen. I have a large backyard and I cannot wait to see it in full bloom when it gets larger.
very hardy Review by Nik
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These trees grow wild in Southern Ohio. Extremely hardy and resisiliant every year we have seedlings sprout up in flower beds or ditches that if you don't pull them up they are literally 3ft tall by the end of summer. A few seedlings I've transplanted in other areas of my yard and after 5 yrs they are at least 30 ft tall... I love them! Great shade and the the smell is heavenly when the flowers are on...the kids love playing with the seed pods when they are baking mud pies and stews. They do have a lot of caterpillars when the trees are smaller but after they get some size on them they have fewer caterpillars.
homeowner Review by JLS
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<P>I have a Catalpa tree abut 7 ft tall, the trunk is about 2.5 inches. I want to move it. how deep/wide is the root system? or is it too large to move by hand now.</P><P sizset="46" sizcache="0"><STRONG>NHN Response:</STRONG> We are sorry, but this section is for reviewing a product only. You may ask your question at our gardening community. Thank you. <A href="http://naturehills.com/gardening/Default.aspx">http://naturehills.com/gardening/Default.aspx</A></P>
Excellent grower Review by tolstoy77
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Planted one from Nursey Hills along with some other species. The Catalpa has out performed them all in single season growth. It was a bit spindlely out of the box but overall health remains intact and its putting on trunk mass quickly. Good review for first season, might want to stake it first unlike what I did. Alex K.

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Plant Facts

Family Catalpa speciosa
Foliage Green
Mature Height 40 - 70 feet
Mature Spread 20 - 40 feet
Soil Widely Adaptable
Zones 4-8
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Oval
Growth Rate Rapid
Sun Exposure Full Sun - Partial Sun
Flower Color White, Purple Spots
Fall Color Yellow

Northern Catalpa.

Rating: 4.7/5 based on 14 review(s)
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11/28/2014 21:26:42 -207.198.123.130-Unknown