Catalpa speciosa

Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa




  • native to the midwest United States
  • hardy to zone 4
  • Special Note: This species has demonstrated an invasive tendency in Connecticut, meaning it may escape from cultivation and naturalize in minimally managed areas. For more information, .

Habit and Form

  • a medium sized deciduous tree
  • irregular, rounded crown
  • 40' to 60' tall and about half as wide
  • fast growth rate
  • medium summer texture and coarse winter texture

Summer Foliage

  • opposite leaf arrangement, whorled towards stem tip
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • 6" to 12" long and half as wide
  • heart-shaped to arrowhead-like leaf form
  • entire leaf margin
  • kelly green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • yellow-green fall color


  • perfect, white flowers
  • 2" in diameter
  • bell-shaped
  • wavy, petal edges
  • spotted throat
  • borne in long panicles (terminal) 4" to 8" long
  • blooms in June


  • long, bean-like capsule
  • 8" to 20" long
  • green
  • persist


  • grayish-brown bark color
  • bark is ridged and furrowed
  • stout, smooth, pubescent stems
  • lenticels
  • large, circular leaf scars


  • transplants readily
  • soil tolerant
  • full sun to partial shade

Landscape Use

  • for winter characteristics
  • for lawn tree
  • for park tree
  • for flowering effect


  • leaf spots
  • powdery mildew
  • twig blight
  • fruit litter

ID Features

  • no terminal buds
  • terminal flower clusters
  • flowers have distinctly spotted throats
  • long, bean-like capsule up to 20"
  • large, circular leaf scars
  • pubescent stems
  • opposite leaf arrangement, with whorled tips


  • by seed
  • by root cuttings


  • none

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.