With these characteristics: None
Catalpa, Northern or Western
Bignoniaceae - Catalpa
Leaves: Opposite or whorled in 3's; simple; heart-shaped; 8" to 12" long, 5" to 8" wide; deciduous; entire margin; fall color yellow-brown.
Twigs/buds: Twigs stout; green to purple; circular leaf scars. No terminal bud; buds smaller than leaf scars.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; showy; trumpet-like; white with yellow and purple spots; 2-1/2" wide; appear in May to June in 4" to 8" long, upright clusters. Fruit a capsule; slender; 8" to 20" long; 1/2" in diameter; hangs on through the winter, splitting down its length to release fringed, winged seeds.
Bark: Brown; broken into thick scales.
Wood: Not important; sapwood pale gray; heartwood gray-brown; growth rings distinct; ring-porous; durable; soft; used some for fence posts and railroad ties.
General: Native to a small area in southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, western Tennessee and Kentucky, and northeastern Arkansas. Has escaped cultivation and is naturalized in the Midwest. Shade intolerant.
Landscape Use: A large, but fairly narrow-crowned tree with beautiful white flowers and an interesting, though messy, fruit. The wood is somewhat weak and brittle, branch breakage is common, and verticillium wilt is a problem. Though catalpa has its drawbacks, I would hate to see it disappear from our landscapes, as it adds a lot with its distinctive canopy form, even in winter. It also is very tough and tolerant of wet or dry and high pH soils. Does well throughout most of Utah. Zones 4-9.
Comments & Limitations: Weak wood and/or branch structure. Fruit and/or plant part can be nuisances; use fruitless varieties if possible. Rarely should be planted, though limited use in specific situations may be justified.
Cultivars: 'Aurea', 'Koehnei', 'Nana', 'Pulverulenta', 'Purpurea', 'Variegata'.
- Bignoniaceae - Catalpa
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