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Southern Catalpa

Catalpa bignonioides

photo © by Mike Plagens

Photographed by Mike Plagens along Coon Creek in the Sierra Ancha, Gila Co., Arizona, USA. 07 Aug. 2009.

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LEAVES: Large heart-shaped leaves sometimes with one or two triangular lobes.

TREE: In Arizona's sycamore woodlands Southern Catalpa is an escape from cultivation; it grows in the moister soil such as near springs. Because it is setting seed and reproducing it has become naturalized. It can also be considered an invasive weed if it becomes abundant and crowds out native plants.
photo by wikipedia user Chilepine
FLOWERS: Large tubular flowers with flared, bilaterally symetrical petals. White with yellow spotting and occasionally streaked with pink or purple.

RANGE: Native to the southeastern United States, but now widely cultivated elsewhere. This tree is related to Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) ... hybrids between the two species have been produced; a large example is planted near city hall in Phoenix, Arizona.

FRUIT: Long turgid pods with many winged seeds.

UNARMED. No spines or thorns.

Bignoniaceae -- Trumpet Vine Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010