Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
The Northern Catalpa grows into a medium to large, upright tree with horizontal branches and a wide range of crown shapes. The Northern Catalpa has a fast-growing frame, festooned with huge, heart-shaped green leaves that form a broad, oval leaf canopy giving them a special appeal. The leaves turn a greenish yellow in the fall. Their claim to fame are their spectacular early summer flowers composed of clusters of 2 inch long tubular white blooms featuring frilled edges and yellow or purple tinges and spots. The upright clusters are on 4 to 8 inch stalks and are visible from a good distance. They produce an excellent honey, too. The 8 to 20 inch long seed pods that develop later in the season and ridged, furrowed gray surface bark provide another season of interest. The bark is reddish-brown to grayish-brown, becoming fissured and ridgy on older trees.