royal paulownia Scrophulariaceae Paulownia
tomentosa (Thunb.) Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.
Leaf: Opposite, simple, heart-shaped and quite large, 5 to 12 inches long, typically quite velvety, green above and paler below; leaves on younger trees will often show course serrations or even lobes.
Flower: Large, showy, upright clusters of purple flowers; individual tube-like flowers are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, very fragrant and appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: Oval capsule, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, filled with numerous (1,000s) small seeds; capsules initially sticky and green, later turning brown and dry, persistent.
Twig: Stout, light brown, numerous lenticels, leaf scar nearly circular, bundle scars arranged in a circle, pith is hollow in the second year; terminal bud lacking, lateral buds small.
Bark: Thin, grayish brown with shallow fissures.
Form: Rounded crown, heavy, clumsy branches, reaches 50 feet tall, 2 feet in diameter.
Looks like: dragon tree - southern catalpa - northern catalpa
Additional Range Information: Paulownia tomentosa is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting royal paulownia.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson