Huge, heart-shaped leaves and large, upright clusters of trumpet-shaped, 2-in.-wide flowers give these trees a distinctly tropical look. White blooms marked with yellow and soft brown appear in late spring and summer, and are followed by long, bean-shaped seed capsules sometimes called Indian beans.
Takes a wide range of soils and temperatures, but plant where strong winds won’t shred leaves. Dropped flowers and seed capsules can be messy. Shape young plants, shortening side branches as the tree grows; when branching begins at the desired height, remove lower branches. On established trees, head back or thin out branches that look out of balance.
For the tree sometimes called desert catalpa, see Chilopsis linearis.
Native to southeastern U.S. Generally smaller than C. speciosa, growing to 30–40 ft. tall, with an equal spread. Leaves are 5–8 in. long, often arranged in whorls, and give off an odd odor when crushed. Becomes chlorotic in alkaline soil. Resistant to oak root fungus.
Yellow leaves of ‘Aurea’ are showier where summers are cool.
Native to central U.S., this tree grows to 40–60 ft. tall, 20 to 40 ft. wide. Heart-shaped leaves are 6–12 in. long and odorless when crushed. Fewer flowers per cluster than for C. bignonioides.
Bred by Judge Logan, a Scot transplanted to California, in the late 1800’s. Probably a hybrid of...
Grows to 25 ft. high and wide. Growth is more tree-like than many saucer magnolias. Large, reddish pur...
Vivid magenta-red flowers on fast-growing stems up to 12 ft. long.