First cultivated in the 1750's, the catalpa tree (Catalpa speciosa) is a native medium sized tree with heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of showy, fragrant flowers. The flowers have bright yellow stamen and purple patterns on the inside of the flower. To top off its show, the tree produces unusual, cigar-shaped seed pods that hang on the bare branches through the winter. It is grown both as an ornamental and for the utility of its wood. The name Catalpa is derived from the Muscogee Native American tribe's name for the tree "kutuhlpa" and the species name speciosa is a specific epithet meaning 'showy'.
They prefer full sun or part shade and are tolerant of most soil conditions and do well in difficult to grow locations of the landscape, such as moist low spots or dry spots with poor soils. It is hardy in zones 4 through 8.
Other Names: Northern catalpa, hardy catalpa, Western catalpa, cigar tree, catawba-tree, bois chavanon, kutuhlpa, hardy ornamental tree