A closer look at the upright panicle of white, bell-shaped flowers. Note the large, rich green, heart-shaped leaves characteristic of the Catalpa speciosa (the name speciosa means showy).
(kuh-TAL-puh spee-see-OH-suh)
Catalpa tree blossoms
A medium to large, fast-growing, deciduous tree that typically reaches 40 - 80' tall with an irregular, open-rounded crown. It is native to a relatively small area extending from western Tennessee, northeastern Arkansas and the lowlands of southeastern Missouri north to southern Illinois and southern Indiana. Because the brittle wood is rot resistant, this tree was at one time extensively planted and was commercially harvested for use as railroad ties and fence posts.
 
Also commonly called a Cigar Tree because of its long (10 to 18 inches) bean-shaped seed capsules, although they are actually longer and thinner than most cigars. The seedpods persist through winter when they eventually split open lengthwise to release quantities of flat fringed seeds.
 
Other common names include western catalpa, hardy catalpa, and Indian bean.
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Location on campus:
The west side of The Grove