Catalpa bignonioides – Indian Bean Tree (south-eastern North America)
Habit: Small or medium-size tree, asymmetrical, broadly round crown, 8-12 m tall and 4-8 m wide; short and crooked stem, main branches asymmetrically arranged like a funnel; in our region, usually slow-growing, 10-20 (30) cm a year.
Flowers: Impressive, 15-30 cm large, white flower panicles, end of June to July; trumpet-shaped single flowers, yellowish and crimson mottling; one of the few decorative trees that flower in the summer.
Fruits: Decorative, 15-40 cm long fruits like beans or cigars, brown; some persistent into spring.
Leaves: Large, cordate, very late shoots, end of May to beginning of June; fresh green; leaves fall early with pale yellow colours in September.
Roots: Few rootlets, fleshy, cordate root system, sensitive to mechanical injuries.
Demands: Sun to light shade, very tolerant of heat on fresh soil, usually frost hardy, needs nutritious, deep, loamy substrates, moderately dry to fresh; favourable for areas protected from wind and frost; good for urban areas.
Hardiness: Zone 6b