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Paulownia tomentosa

Royal Paulownia, Empress Tree, Princess Tree

Pronunciation
pah-LOE-nee-uh toe-men-TOE-suh
Genus
Nativity

China, Invasive

Growth Habit

Rounded, dense crown, resembles Catalpa bignonioides

Hardiness
6
Culture

Warm, mid-south, east coast moist to warm soils. Extremely weedy

Facultative Status
Facultative Upland
Landscape Use

Paulownia can be a weedy and messy tree that requires a fair amount of clean-up in the fall. Flowering isn't gauranteed in colder northern climates. Best used in areas with plenty of space, similar to the needs of a Catalpa. This plant is invasive.

Foliage

Usually opposite but sometimes whorled, simple, broad-ovate, large pubescent leaves.

Buds

Buds are obvious all winter, very pubescent.

Bark

Olive brown color and heavily lenticelled.

Flower

Panicle, formed in summer; individual flower buds appear as light brown, pubescent spheres through winter.

Fruit

Light brown aging to dirty brown. Non-ornamental.

Propagation

The seeds exhibit no dormancy, but light is necessary for germination. Root cuttings are less successful.

Pests
None serious, though leaf spots, mildew bug, and twig canker can occur.
Cultivars

'Coreana' - Yellow-tinted leaves, woolly beneath, and violet-speckled, yellow-throated flowers.

'Lilacina' - Pale lilac flowers.

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