Alphabetical Plant Listing

Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa)

Bois Chavanon, Catawba, Cigar Tree, Early-Flowering Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Northern Catalpa, Indian Cigar, Shawnee wood, Western Catalpa, Catalpa cordifolia


Award-winning Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa) is a large deciduous tree adorned with a narrow, oval crown and spreading branches clothed with huge, heart-shaped, light green leaves, 12 in. long (30 cm). They are glossy on top and densely hairy on their undersides. In late spring to early summer, ravishing clusters of trumpet-shaped, white flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with abundant yellow stripes and purple speckles on their throats, bloom dramatically above the leaves. The flowers give way to long slender green seedpods, 8-20 in. long (20-50 cm), that mature in fall to dark brown and persist through winter. The foliage usually turns yellow in the fall. The pale gray to reddish-brown bark is fissured and prominently ridged on mature trunks. Fast-growing and relatively short-lived, Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 50-70 ft. tall (15-21 m) and 20-50 ft. wide (6-15 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. Keep an eye out for verticillium wilt. Deer resistant.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots. 
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings or grafting.
  • Native to the central United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 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 50' – 70' (15m – 21m)
Spread 20' – 50' (6m – 15m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer
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 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 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 50' – 70' (15m – 21m)
Spread 20' – 50' (6m – 15m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Catalpa

Guides with Catalpa

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Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa)

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