Alphabetical Plant Listing

Catalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa)

Catawba, Southern Catalpa, Indian Cigar, Eastern Catalpa, Smoking Bean, Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa catalpa, Catalpa syringaefolia


Award-winning Catalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa) is a large deciduous tree adorned with an irregular, broad-rounded crown and short, crooked branches clothed with huge, heart-shaped, light green leaves, 10 in. long (25 cm). They are glossy on top and densely hairy on their undersides. They give off an odd aroma when bruised. In late spring to early summer, ravishing conical panicles of 10-20 trumpet-shaped, white flowers, 1.5 in. across (4 cm), with abundant yellow stripes and purple speckles on their throats, bloom dramatically above the leaves. The flowers give way to prodigious quantities of long slender green seedpods, 15 in. long (37 cm), that mature in fall to dark brown and persist through winter. The foliage seldom displays a hint of fall color. The pale gray to reddish-brown bark is fissured and prominently ridged on mature trunks. Southern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions and serves as an ornamental shade or street tree.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 30-60 ft. tall (9-18 m) and 20-40 ft. wide (6-12 m).
  • Thrives in average, moist, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. This tree is not fussy about soil conditions but prefers moist, fertile, loams. Shelter from strong winds as these may damage the large leaves
  • Virtually pest free and disease free. Deer resistant.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots. 
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings or grafting.
  • Native to the southeastern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Catalpa
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Spread 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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LikaNStar, Photodigitaal.nl, Catus, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Catalpa
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Spread 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Catalpa

Guides with Catalpa

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