Catalpa ovata
Chinese Catalpa

 Plant Type:
 Deciduous / Evergreen:
White (Attractive, small, yellowish-white flowers held in 4-10" long panicles)
Red-Violet (Red-purple new growth); Green (Light green summer foliage); Yellow (Poor yellow fall color)
Green;brown (Green immature seedpods;Long, dark brown mature seedpods)
 Ultimate Height:
30 feet
 Ultimate Spread:
30 feet
Tolerates wet, dry, and alkaline soils
 Diagnostic Characteristics:
Leaves are simple, whorled or opposite, 4-10" long, and can be entire or have 3-5 abruptly pointed lobes (distinguishing it from many other Catalpas). The newly emerging leaves are tinged purple and pubescent, becoming light green and glabrous at maturity. The bell-shaped flowers are 0.75" long, smaller than other Catalpa species. Seedpods are very long (8-12"), and very thin (less than 0.33" wide), which is generally thinner than the other Catalpas; the seeds themselves are smaller as well. The coarse textured bark is fissured on mature specimens.

Additional Information

The Chinese Catalpa is smaller than other Catalpa species, generally only reaching 30 feet. It produces attractive yellow-white flowers in the spring, but they are not as ornamental as those of other Catalpa species. Its coarse winter trunk and branches are bold and striking; picturesque, but can be too coarse for many urban landscapes. Best for difficult areas. Wood is rot resistant, but is somewhat brittle so branches can fall in wind and ice storms. The large leaves can also become damaged and less attractive throughout the growing season by storm and pest damage.

1 Catalpa ovata found

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= Heritage plant = Memorial plant
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