Southern catalpa is a short-trunked tree with a rounded to irregular form that can reach 30 to 40 feet in height. Attractive, large panicles of white bell-shaped flowers with yellow and purple spots bloom in early summer and are long-lasting. Native to floodplains, southern catalpa is very adaptable and tolerant of adverse conditions.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Zone 9
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Dry sites
- Wet sites
- Alkaline soil
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Mid spring
- Late spring
Size and Form
30 to 50 feet high and wide; irregular form
Tree & Plant Care
This tree can be messy when flowers and fruits fall; branches are brittle and may fall in storms.
Disease, pests and problems
Verticillium wilt and minor problems including leaf spots and powdery mildew.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in the southern United States.
Bark color and texture
Bark is gray-brown, scaly with age.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite or sometimes whorled leaves; 4 to 8 inches long with an entire margin
Bright green in summer with little to no fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
White, funnel-shaped flowers with purple markings inside; grouped in a 4 to 8 inch tall upright cluster.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Pod-like capsules, 8 to 20 inches long, filled with winged seeds.