Northern Catalpa

Catalpa speciosa Bignoniaceae

Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Native distribution

S. Illinois & Indiana to W. Tennesee & N. Arkansas


Young Flower Garden

Source of plant

Cornell Botanic Gardens


Tree, 40 to 60' in height with a spread of 20 to 40', but sometimes reaching 100' or more in the wild. Crown narrow, open and irregular, can be quite striking in winter. Bark greyish brown on old trunks. Flowers white, 2" long and wide, the tube bell-shaped, the lobes spreading and frilled at the margin, the lower one with yellow spots and ridges as in C. bignonioides, but less freely spotted with purple, in large upright terminal panicles, 4 to 8" long. Fruit an 8 to 20" long capsule, 1/2 to 3/4" wide, persisting through winter, contains numerous fringed seeds.

USDA Hardiness Zone