Catalpa

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For the historical incident involving a ship of this name, see Catalpa rescue.
Catalpa
Missing image
Cataspec.jpg



Catalpa speciosa flowers, leaf and bark
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Lamiales
Family:Bignoniaceae
Genus:Catalpa
Species

11 species, including:
Catalpa bignonioides
Catalpa bungei
Catalpa fargesii
Catalpa longissima
Catalpa ovata
Catalpa punctata
Catalpa speciosa
Catalpa tibetica

Catalpa (Catalpa), also spelled Catawba, is a genus of mostly deciduous trees of the United States, West Indies, and east Asia, in the flowering plant family Bignoniaceae.

Catalpas grow to 10-25 m tall, and can be recognized by their large heart-shaped to three-lobed leaves, showy white or yellow flowers in broad panicles, and in the autumn by their 20-50 cm long fruits which resemble a slender bean pod, containing numerous small flat seeds, each seed having two thin wings to aid wind dispersal.

The two North American species, Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides), and Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) have been widely planted outside their natural ranges as ornamental trees for their showy flowers. Northern and Southern Catalpa are very similar in appearance, but the northern species has slightly larger leaves, flowers, and bean pods. Flowering starts after 275 growing degree days. The Yellow Catalpa (Catalpa ovata) from China, with pale yellow flowers, is also planted outside its natural range for ornamental purposes.

The name derives from the Catawba Native American name catawba for these trees (the tribal totem), with the spelling Catalpa being due to a transcription error on the part of the describing botanist (Scopoli) making the first formal scientific description of the genus. The rules of botanical naming state that the spelling used in the formal scientific description has to be retained for the scientific name. The name in vernacular use has very largely (though not completely) followed Scopoli's erroneous transcription, with catawba still in use in some areas of the United States, most particularly within the trees' native range.

The bean-like seed pod is the origin of the alternative vernacular name Indian Bean Tree for C. bignonioides.

The tree is the food plant of the Catalpa Sphinx moth, the leaves being eaten by the caterpillars.de:Trompetenbäume

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