INDEX A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Catalpa
(Catalpa speciosa)


Leaves are opposite (whorled), simple.

Catalpa Form

The Catalpa is not native to Iowa.  It was introduced as an ornamental tree because of its large, showy flowers.  After the flowers bloom, long, cylindrical pods filled with small winged seeds form.  This distinctive fruit hangs on the trees all winter.

Catalpa FlowersCatalpa Flowers
Hardiness: zones 4 to 8 (9)

Growth Rate:
Medium to fast. 15' over 7 to 8 year period.

Mature Shape:
Tree with narrow, open, irregular, oval crown.

Height:
40 to 60 feet tall.

Width:
20 to 40 feet wide.

Site Requirements:
Very tolerant of different soil conditions. Prefers deep, moist, fertile soil, but can withstand extremely hot, dry environments.

Flowering Dates: May - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: Late winter - spring

Seed Bearing Age: 20 Years

Seed Bearing Frequency: Every 2-3 Years

Seed Stratification: Seeds disperse in the spring and immediately germinate. no stratification period is needed

The leaves are 8 to 12 inches long and heart-shaped.  Leaves are thick and firm, dark green above and downy beneath.  The fruit is a slender, 8 to 20 inch long pod that ripens in early autumn.  The pod hangs on the tree all winter and opens in the spring before falling off.

Catalpa LeavesCatalpa Fruit

Catalpas grow rapidly. The trunks are short, often crooked, supporting a broad, rounded crown of slender, spreading branches and thick twigs.  The bark is thick, reddish brown, with scaly, longitudinal ridges.

Catalpa TwigsCatalpa Twigs
 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Catalpa Flowers Catalpa Twigs Catalpa Flowers Catalpa Twigs Catalpa Fruit Catalpa Leaves Catalpa Form