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WESTERN CATALPA

NORTHERN CATALPA

Catalpa speciosa

Bignonia Family [Bignoniaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

category
category8Trees
category
category8Deciduous
category
category8Broadleaf
status
statusZalien

flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8indigo
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ3
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
To 20m tall. Less vulnerable to frost damage than the similar-looking (and related) Indian Bean Tree.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in spikes, at first glance similar to those of Horse-Chestnut (not shown here- this is still Western Catalpa) but the leaves are totally different.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
A closer look and the individual flowers still have a resemblance to those of Horse-Chestnut.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaves not dis-similar to those of Foxglove Tree. The flowers are also quite similar to those of Foxglove Tree but are white overall rather than lilac and not as long or bell-shaped. They are arranged in pyramid-shaped pannicles containing between 20 to 40 flowers.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers so convolute on the periphery that it is not easy to discern how many petals it has but three petals are generally accepted. They are not dissimilar to those of the Foxglove Tree.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The centre of the flowers have dark-purple splotches arranged on brocken lines. In addition there are usually two rows of golden to yellow dots on the lower lip.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Throat has deep purple to indigo coloured streaks radiating outwards. A cream-coloured bifid stigma in the upper part, and several yellow to egg-yolk markings on the lower parts.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Egg-yolk coloured splotches on lower part of throat.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The flower is bisexual with both a two-pronged white style and a few fawn-coloured anthers.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaves larger than an outstretched large hand, with a single point at the end [The hybrid between Indian Bean Tree and Yellow Catalpa called the Hybrid Bean Tree (Catalpa × erubescens) has three points]. Leaves not un-like those of the Foxglove Tree.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Un-like the very similar Indian Bean Tree, the leaves are cardioid shaped without shallow lobes at the broad end. They also have a longer point at the narrow end and are also longer overall as well as darker and scentless than those of Indian Bean Tree (whose leaves smell foul on crushing).


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The leaves usually taper to a long point. Veins curved towards the tip.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
These are not fruits, but rather as-yet unopened flowers.


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The bark is supposed to be grey for Western Catalpa, but orange to pink-brownish for Indian Bean Tree, but the leaves say differently and moreover do not smell of anything .


3rd Aug 2011, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The bark in close-up.


Easily mistaken for : Horse-Chestnut, but this tree has leaves that are large but heart-shaped rather than palmate. It has flowers in upright candles very similar to those of Horse-Chestnut.

Easily mis-identified as : Indian Bean Tree but that has leaves that, when crushed, smell foul whereas those of Western Catalpa have no smell. Other differentiating features are listed in the photo captions.

The flowers themselves bear great resemblance, in both shape and internal markings, to : Indian Bean Tree (aka Southern Catalpa) (Catalpa bignonoides), Yellow Catalpa (Catalpa ovata) and Foxglove Tree (Paulownia tomentosa) which are all trees, and also to the many Monkeyflowers which are not trees and have yellow flowers.


  Catalpa speciosa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Bignoniaceae  
genus8Catalpa
Catalpa
(Indian Bean Trees)

WESTERN CATALPA

NORTHERN CATALPA

Catalpa speciosa

Bignonia Family [Bignoniaceae]

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