Catalpa bignonioides



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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: tree
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 40-50 (70) ft    Width: to 35 ft
Flower Color: flower color      white
Fruit Color: fruit color      brown
Phenology: deciduous
Noted for: Showy flowers, interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Specimen or shade tree.
Considerations: The foul-smelling crushed leaves, flower litter, seed pod litter, and root suckers can create a maintenance problem in residential landscapes.
Propagation: Seed and cuttings. Seedlings can sometimes be harvested from beneath mature trees.
Availability: Native nurseries, Seed
Light: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Not salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, loam
Soil pH Range: Slightly acidic


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Attracts various pollinators including butterflies and bees. Larval host for catalpa sphinx moth (Ceratomia catalpae) and tersa sphinx (Xylophanes tersa).
Native Habitats: dry hammocks, dry hardwood forests.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


Extremely rot resistant wood was use for fence posts and rails. Wood was utilized where its soft, straight-grained, and low shrinkage properties were valuable. Occasional wood pieces and furniture parts were fashioned from catalpa. Sometimes grown to attract insects such as catawba worm (larva of the catalpa sphinx moth) which is used for fish bait.