Catalpa speciosa
Common name: 
Northern Catalpa
Western Catalpa
ka-TAL-pa spe-see-OO-sa
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 40-60 ft (12-18 m) tall and 20-40 ft (6-12 m) wide, may much larger in the wild, irregular oval crown, coarse.  Leaves opposite or whorled, simple, very large, 15-30 cm x 7.5-20 cm, ovate to ovate-oblong, infrequently lobed, base truncate to cordate, tip long acuminate, margin entire, medium green and glabrous (without hairs) above, densely pubescent below.  Flowers about 5 cm long, white tube-shaped, yellow spots inside lower petal, some purple spots also, borne in large upright terminal clusters (panicles).  Fruit develop into long pods, 40 cm long or more, 1.5 cm wide, thick walled, persist through winter; contain numerous oblong, winged seeds.
  • Sun and partial shade.  Very tolerant of soil type, but prefers deep, moist, fertile soil.  Withstands wet or dry and alkaline conditions and extremely hot, dry environments.  Short lived, 50 years above average.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4     Native to Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and northern Arkansas.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: west side of Burt Hall (Orchard & 27th).
Click image to enlarge
  • immature flower cluster and buds

    immature flower cluster and buds

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • leaves


  • leaf margin and surfaces

    leaf margin and surfaces

  • leaves and flower cluster

    leaves and flower cluster

  • flower clusters and leaves

    flower clusters and leaves

  • flower cluster and flower

    flower cluster and flower

  • start of fruit growth

    start of fruit growth

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • fruit and leaf

    fruit and leaf

  • fruit and seeds

    fruit and seeds

  • seeds, comparison

    seeds, comparison

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves and fruit, fall

    leaves and fruit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • twigs and buds, winter

    twigs and buds, winter