Northern Catalpa (Catalpa epeciosa)

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    • Catalpa 
    • Cigar Tree
  • Scientific Family
    •  Bignoniaceae  (Bignonia Family)
  • Discovery
    •  Not available
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    • The Arkansas Catalpa tree size champion is in Rogers, Arkansas with a DBH of 85 inches.
    • Can grow to 50 to 90 feet with a spreading crown.
  • Colors
    •  Fall color is yellow.
  • Bloom Description/Seed Count
    •  Large white flowers with purple and yellow markings in clusters in May or June
    • Very attractive and fragrant

flowersPhoto credit to North Dakota State University

  • Leaf Arrangement 
    • Can have strange leaf arrangement. May be simple, opposite or whorled (3 at each node)
    • Large heart shaped leaf on long stalk 6 to 10 inches long

3-805Photo credit to Arbor Day Foundation

  • Bark Arrangement 
    •  Dark gray to brown

northern-catalpa-bark-original-01Photo credit to Purdue University Fort Wayne

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    •  Non-Invasive but can reproduce from seed
  • Native/Non-native
    •  Native
  • Pests/Disease
    •  None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    •  Often confused with the invasive Royal Paulownia
  • Usefulness
    • Favorite tree of fishermen. The catalpa worm (Sphinx Moth Caterpillar) is found exclusively on the Catalpa tree and is prized by fishermen as an excellent bait for catfish and brim. 
    • Ornamental
    • Used as fence posts
  • Local Location / History:  
  • Located in front of the First Presbyterian Church at 213 Whittington Avenue. 
  • This tree is 54 inches DBH.