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Catalpa






CATALPA BIGNONIOIDES.--Indian Bean. North America, 1798. When in

full bloom this is a remarkable and highly ornamental tree, the

curiously-marked flowers and unusually large, bronzy-tinted foliage

being distinct from those of almost any other in cultivation. That it

is not, perhaps, perfectly hardy in every part of the country is to be

regretted, but the numerous fine old specimens that are to be met with

all over the country point out that there need be little to fear when

assigning this pretty and uncommon tree a position in our parks and

gardens. The flowers, produced in spikes at the branch-tips, are white,

tinged with violet and speckled with purple and yellow in the throat.

Individually the flowers are of large size and very ornamental, and,

being produced freely, give the tree a bright and pleasing appearance

when at their best. Usually the tree attains to a height of 30 feet in

this country, with rather crooked and ungainly branches, and large

heart-shaped leaves that are downy beneath. It flourishes well on any

free soil, and is an excellent smoke-resisting tree. C. bignonioides

aurea is a decided variety, that differs mainly in the leaves being of

a desirable golden tint.



C. BUNGEI and C. KAEMPFERI, natives of China and Japan, are hardly

to be relied upon, being of tender growth, and, unless in the most

favoured situations, suffer from our severe winters. They resemble our

commonly cultivated tree.



C. SPECIOSA.--United States, 1879. The Western Catalpa is more erect

and taller of growth than C. bignonioides. The flowers too are larger,

and of purer white, and with the throat markings of purple and yellow

more distinct and not inclined to run into each other. Leaves large,

heart-shaped, tapering to a point, of a light pleasing green and soft

to the touch. It flowers earlier, and is more hardy than the former.






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Previous: Castanea



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