Royal Paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa)

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    • Princess Tree
    • Empress Tree
    • Foxglove Tree
  • Scientific Family
    • Paulowniaceae (Princess Tree Family)
  • Discovery
    •  N/A
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    • Fastest growing tree in the world.
    • Can grow 12 inches in three weeks and 20 feet in a year.
  • Colors
    •  N/A
  • Bloom/Seed/Fruit
    • Pale violet flowers with darker spots and yellow markings inside from April to May
    • Pecan-shaped capsules, 1 to 2 inches long, appear from June to April and release tiny winged seeds in winter

paulowniaflower paulowniaseed
Photo credit to University of Washington and NC State University

  • Leaf Arrangement 
    •  Simple, opposite, occasionally whorled 5 to 15 inches long 

Paulownia-tomentosa--leaf--Kirby-Welch--CC-BY-SA-NCPhoto credit to NC State University

  • Bark Arrangement 
    •  Smooth light gray-brown bark

paulownia-tomentosa-barkPhoto credit to the California Polytechnic State University

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    • Invasive due to its fast growing ability and prolific seed production. Each capsule like fruit can produce 2,000 winged seeds and each tree can produce 20 million seeds.
  • Native/Non-native
    • Non-native; native to China
  • Pests/Disease
    • None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    • Catalpa Tree (confused with the Catalpa Tree due to its large heart shaped leaf)
  • Usefulness
    • Seeds are often used as packing material for China’s porcelain.
    • Ornamental
  • Local Location / History:  
  • Located at the corner of Linden Street and Linden Park Lane