Leaf: May be opposite or whorled, pinnately veined, 5 to 12 inches long.
Flower: Very showy, white with purple streaks, in branched, upright cluster, arranged in bell-shaped corollas of 5 lobes, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Flattened seeds with 2-papery, fringed wings encased in a distinctive 8 to 14 inches long "cigar-like" or "bean-like" capsule; the seeds mature in autumn, but the capsule may remain attached over winter.
Twig: Stout, green, and later reddish brown in color; terminal bud absent; lateral buds small and covered with overlapping, red-brown scales; leaf scars elliptical to round; pith continuous.
Bark: Separated into irregular shallow fissures with reddish brown scales.
Form: A medium sized tree with spreading branches and an irregular crown. The bole may be straight but is generally crooked.
Looks like: northern catalpa - royal paulownia - dragon tree - tungoil tree
Additional Range Information: Catalpa bignonioides is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information