Chinese catalpa - catalpa ovata
Common Name: Chinese catalpa, yellow catalpa, Japanese catalpa
Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 20 to 30 ft
Width: 20 to 30 ft
Description: Catalpa ovata is a Chinese native species that typically reaches a height between 20 and 30 feet tall. It holds glabrous, light green leaves that turn a yellowish color in the fall. Its trademark characteristic is the presence of orchid-like white and yellow flowers that appear in late spring. After some time, these flowers are replaced with long, green seed pods that turn dark brown before splitting open in the fall.
The tolerance of a wide range of soil conditions and a resistance to seasonal flooding makes the Chinese catalpa an option for use as a decorative species in a variety of landscapes. Despite this, there tends to be a hesitance to use this tree as it rarely holds its classic form. Leaves commonly deteriorate throughout the season, leaving it susceptible to foliar damage. That being said, if given the proper growing conditions and care this tree can serve as a beautiful landscape tree, particularly early in the growing season.
"Catalpa ovata". Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d382. Accessed 19 May 2018.