Monday, June 16, 2008

Northern Catalpa

Northern Catalpa, or Catalpa speciosa, is in bloom right now. Here's a specimen on the South Jersey shore:

Catalpas are in the Bignoniaceae, or Trumpet Creeper family. Accordingly, it's related to Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) as well as Jacaranda. The similarities among these are most notable in the long, tubular, almost trumpet-shaped flowers.

Catalpas aren't used for ornamental purposes very often - the large leaves, flowers and persistent pea pods make for a high-litter plant. (You can even see the flowers scattered on the lawn above.)

The word Catalpa is a bastardization of the Native American word Catawba. The Catawba tribe applied their own name to this tree, marking the species as their tribal totem.

No comments: