Boone County Arboretum
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Union, Kentucky 41091
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Cultural Details for Catalpa speciosa

Common Name:
Northern Catalpa

Growth Rate:
Medium tree with an open, irregular crown; moderate to fast growth rate.

Average Mature Height:
40-60' (100') tall

Average Mature Width:
20-40' wide

Flower Details:
White flowers 2" long and wide, the tube bell-shaped, the lobes spreading and frilled at the margin, the lower one with yellow spots; May-June, in large upright terminal panicles, 4-8" long.

Fruit Details:
Thick walled pendulous capsule, 8-20" long, 0.5-0.75" wide, green changing to brown, persisting through winter. Contains numerous fringed seeds.

Fall Color:
Poor yellow-green to brownish, often fall from tree before turning color.

Bark Details:
Young stems smooth or slightly short-downy, reddish to yellowish brown with large lenticels. Older trunks grayish brown, usually ridged-and-furrowed, sometimes thick and scaly.

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
Can have problems, usually minor, with leaf spots, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, twig blight, root rot and others.

Native Habitat:
Native to southwestern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northeastern Arkansas. Naturalized throughout much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

Other Features:

Culture and Care:
Prefers deep, most, fertile soil, but tolerant of different soil conditions includng wet or dry sites, alkaline soil, sun or part shade, or extremely hot environments. Zone 4-8 (9).

This plant was blooming:

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.