Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Catalpa Tree

This time of year is the best time for the Catalpa tree. I planted this baby when it was just a whip. It has grown into a beautifully shaped tree without any pruning. Catalpa trees are not used in the landscape much. I don't know why. They make a great shade tree as they have these huge heart-shaped leaves that make the best shade. Birds and bees love this tree. The birds love to build nests in this tree even though the wood is soft it is very reliable. You don't ever have to go around and pick up limbs after a big storm. After it blooms it makes these long bean pods that have their seeds in them. These large clusters of blooms are what I really like the best. They look like small orchids and they smell heavenly. This one in the middle of this cluster has a red in the throat. Most look like...

this bloom. You can see how the yellow down the throat leads the bees and bugs for pollination. This tree is native in our area which to me is another good reason to grow this tree. If you would like to read more about the Catalpa tree you can go to Wikipedia here to read more.






20 comments:

  1. Gosh Lisa that is one beautiful tree and blooms to die for.

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  2. I love these beautiful trees. There are few to none in Wisconsin but I have drooled over them at my brothers. Those blooms are gorgeous.

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  3. Lisa, Talk about a timely post! I was just noticing some blooming trees at a house down the road yesterday, wondering what they were. I'm sure now they must be catalpas. I'll have to go for a little walk and inspect the blooms up close.
    Those blooms are gorgeous, indeed.

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  4. Yes they are pretty and it looks so nice in your yard, Do you get the worms on them? Here they are used for fishing. How's the river doing? Has it crested yet? It is really a nice day here so far-62 degrees!

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  5. Lisa, I don't have any catalpa trees, but I love the flowers. Thanks for bringing our attention to it.~~Dee

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  6. We had three of these trees in our backyard when I was growing up. I had an uncle who always came to gather the worms for fishing. My parents eventually cut the trees down because of the worms. I don't remember them being a pretty specimen like your tree though. Maybe the southern ones are different.

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  7. Catalpas grow here in Austin too, and I always admire the flowers. But I've never seen one with a pretty shape like yours. Usually they look tall and gangly.

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  8. I think Catalpas are the kind of tree you either love or hate. I had heard of a society that was dedicated to going around giving the Bronx Cheer to Catalpas. I won't go that far, but I don't like them. Probably because of the worms and because most of the ones I'd seen looked like those Pam mentioned - scraggly. I'm glad you enjoy yours & it certainly looks better than the usual Catalpa.

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  9. I also like this tree very much and have planted it when it was very tiny about 12 years ago. Here it isn't yet blooming, this will happen around end of July, I guess.

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  10. Dear Lisa,
    I also did a post about the Catalpa tree! Great minds think alike!
    I pass a volunteer Catalpa Tree on my walk. It grows right next to the sidewalk. The blooms are very beautiful. I often wonder why they are not more popular. They are so beautiful. They are native in my area too. It is wonderful you have one in your gardens.
    Lovely pictures of the blooms. I also enjoy seeing the shape of the tree. Very nice tree!
    Sherry

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  11. What an amazing tree. You are right to wonder why they aren't used more in the landscape. I'd love to have one of those in my yard. Hey - hope you're going ok with the crazy weather. My in-laws - N of Indy around Noblesville have escaped the worst of it. Unfortunately not so our family in Il, who have a flooded clinic and barn and had to move horses to higher ground.

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  12. Lisa: That is a lovely post on the catalpa tree. It lends a tropical feel to the garden with those big leaves, orchid flowers and crazy seed pods. I have a golden one which I prune every year to keep it small. I will have to post a picture but yours is a real beauty.

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  13. A beautiful tree with lovely blooms. Enjoy!

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  14. The Catalpa is a fairly common landscape tree in the south of Spain and they are not scraggly. Perhaps the climate is more favorable.

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  15. I want to thank everyone for your comments. I am so glad you stopped by.

    Beckie, yes the tree gets the worms on it. This is one reason why I wanted it. It brings me memories of the times when I was a little girl and my Dad and I collected the worms for fishing. I usually ended up playing with the worms and doing little fishing. Ha...

    One day a "grandpa" with grandson in tow collected these worms for their fishing trip. This really touched my heart. I was so glad I could be a small part of their relationship.

    The river has crested and is going down.

    Layanee, I have read about different types of Catalpa but I have never seen any. I haven't even heard about a Golden Catalpa. I can't wait to see a picture of it.

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  16. This seems like such an old-fashioned tree to me because there were so many of them around Illinois when I was young. It's nice to see them here, Lisa.

    They're growing in Austin? I'll have to check with Pam/Digging and find out where to look!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  17. Wow. I've admired the blooms from afar, but never got such a good close-up look at them. They really are beautiful flowers!

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  18. Gorgeous tree. It is so good to know that some people still plant them. I wrote about my own catalpa just today.

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  19. Lisa, our daughter, Kylie and her husband, Ko, were married under a Catalpa tree at The Cornell Plantations in September of '06. It had the bean pods at that stage. It's great to see what it looks like in bloom. The flowers are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this!

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  20. I saw the exact same tree at Cornell that Kerri mentions and fell in love with it. Without knowing that, my garden buddy got catalpa seeds from someone and grew some. She gave me one of the seedlings. I was thrilled, but it keeps dying back from the cold winters. It looks more like a giant shrub than a tree because it doesn't have a central leader.

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