- Paulownia tomentosa is a medium sized tree (50-60 ft. [15.2-18.3 m] in height and 2 ft. [0.6 m] in diameter) that can commonly be mistaken for the native tree northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa). Bark is gray-brown and rough, often developing lighter-colored shallow vertical fissures.
- Leaves are large, broadly oval to heart-shaped (6-12 in. [15.2-30.5 cm] long, 5-9 in. [12.7-22.8 cm] wide) and arranged opposite along the stem, hairy on both surfaces. Petioles are also hairy and can be sticky when young. Leaves growing off root sprouts have been measured up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) in length. Twigs are stout, brown, and speckled with white dots (lenticels). They can be slightly hairy when young. Lateral leaf scars are somewhat round, becoming darker and sunken. The pith is chambered or sometimes hollow.
- Large flowers (2 in. [5.1 cm] long) are fragrant and light violet-pink, appearing in showy upright clusters (8-12 in. [20.3-30.5 cm] in length) in early spring (April-May) before leaves emerge. They have tubular corollas, ending in 5 unequal lobes. Flower buds are hairy and linear, becoming round.
- Fruits (1-2 in. [2.5-5.1 cm] long, 1-1.5 in. [2.5-3.8 cm] wide) are egg-shaped capsules, divided into 4 inner compartments that contain the seeds. Fruits are light green in the summer, becoming dark brown in the winter, and persist in clusters on the tree until the following spring. The capsules split in half during late winter to release up to 2000 tiny winged, wind-borne seeds 0.08-0.12 in. (2-3 mm).
- Ecological Threat
- Paulownia tomentosa is an aggressive tree that invades disturbed natural areas including forests, roadsides, and stream banks. It is native to China and was first introduced into the United States as an ornamental in 1840.
- Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service
- Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - SE-EPPC
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England - University of Connecticut
- Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance
- Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service
- Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas - National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org
Invasive Listing Sources
- Alabama Invasive Plant Council
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
- Connecticut Invasive Plant List
- Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
- Faith Campbell, 1998
- Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council - Category 1
- Great Lakes Early Detection Network
- Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
- John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
- Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council - Significant Threat
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
- Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
- Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
- New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
- Nonnative Invasive Species in Southern Forest and Grassland Ecosystems
- North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
- Reichard, Sarah. 1994. Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
- South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council - Severe Threat
- Virginia Invasive Plant Species List
- WeedUS - Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States
- Wisconsin's Invasive Species Identification, Classification and Control Rule
Other System LinksPlants: PATO2
NPDN Pest: PAQAFBA
NPDN Host: 35552
CategoriesCategory: Hardwood Trees
|Common Name Reference:|| USDA, NRCS. 2010. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.|
|Scientific Name Reference:||USDA, NRCS. 2010. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.|