Paulownia tomentosa Steud., Nomencl. Bot. ed. 2, 2: 278 1841. (Syn: Bignonia tomentosa Thunb.; Incarvillea tomentosa (Thunb.) Spreng.; Paulownia coreana Uyeki; Paulownia grandifolia hort. ex Wettst.; Paulownia imperialis Siebold & Zucc.; Paulownia imperialis var. lanata Dode; Paulownia lilacina Sprague; Paulownia recurva Rehder; Paulownia tomentosa var. japonica Elwes; Paulownia tomentosa var. lanata (Dode) C.K.Schneid.; Paulownia tomentosa f. virginea H.Ohashi);
China (Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan), Japan (I), South Korea, Hungary (I), Italy (I), Croatia (I), Slovakia (I), Taiwan (I), Uzbekistan (I), Tajikistan (I), Pakistan (I), Jammu & Kashmir (I), USA (I) (Alabama (I), Arkansas (I), Connecticut (I), District of Columbia (I), Delaware (I), Florida (I), Georgia (I), Illinois (I), Indiana (I), Kentucky (I), Louisiana (I), Massachusetts (I), Maryland (I), Missouri (I), Mississippi (I), North Carolina (I), New Jersey (I), New York (I), Ohio (I), Oklahoma (I), Pennsylvania (I), Rhode Island (I), South Carolina (I), Tennessee (I), Texas (I), Virginia (I), West Virginia (I)) as per Catalogue of life;
Keys in Flora of China are as below:
4 (1) Capsule oblong to oblong-ellipsoid, 6-10 cm; pericarp woody, 3-6 mm; inflorescences subcylindric; corolla ventral plaits inconspicuous; calyx 2-2.5 cm   4 Paulownia fortunei
+ Capsule ovoid, ovoid-ellipsoid, or ellipsoid, 3-5.5 cm; pericarp not woody, to 3 mm; inflorescences pyramidal or narrowly conical; corolla ventral plaits conspicuous; calyx to 2 cm.   (5)
5 (4) Capsule viscid-glandular hairy; calyx lobes as long as or longer than tube, not glabrescent 1 Paulownia tomentosa
+ Capsule pubescent when young; calyx lobes shorter than tube, partly glabrescent. (6)

Common name:
Empress tree, Princess Tree, Foxglove Tree, Pao tong (Chinese)



Paulownia tomentosa : 11 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1).
It is a beautiful deciduous tree which flowers in March/April.
Botanical name: Paulownia tomentosa
Common names: Empress tree, Princess tree, Foxglove tree

Indeed a beauty… thanks … for sharing…

nice to see so much pink. soothing. where is this tree? how tall? what does the trunk look like? and if its near where you are hopefully you’ll shaow us the leaves and the full canopy of the tree. lovely tree when full and the fruits are good too.

I have clicked it at Shimla. It may be introduced one as it is native of China. Attaching two more photographs showing habit. It is nearly 15m tall. Attachments (2)

wow … is this one of your talks?
and thanks for showing us the three seasons in this ppt

love it

Yes, Di. The last slide is from my State level “International Day for Biological Diversity” Talk organized by Government of Himachal Pradesh at The Gaity, The Mall, Shimla in May, 2013.

can on e-publish such talks

Right Di.

Posting some more photographs of this highly beautiful ornamental tree.

Attachments (7)

what a magnificent growth. judging from the symmetrical (almost) ovoid shape it seems even though its is a tight urabn environment, it may yet become a specimen tree. unless something seem to have prompted some limb cutting, hope they stop at that. (left side in 2nd pic. )
is this in Simla too?
now wait for a shower of seeds. fun to photograph them and try and grow them. can you save some for me if its in your neighborhood?

And thank you for giving me a treat today. love it

Thank you, … It is growing in Shimla itself. It is fast growing tree. You have also seen the photographs clicked 4-5 years ago. I clicked these photos today as required by Dr. S.L. Kochhar Sir for his forthcoming book. He is also a renowned botanist known for his Economic Botany book.

I’ll collect seeds in March/April when they are ripe.

great. yes i saw that, its right here up in the thread. so can you tell me when his book comes out. economic botany was not an organized science, when during morning walks my dad would tell us about the uses and economic importance of all things green that we encountered.

Back to this Pawlownia: i saw some writings about how fast growing a tree this is and there are plantations in the west that grow them on acres and acres. do we have something similar in india ?

It has started plantation in Nepal also and said to high revenue yielding but side by side the but considered not good environmentally.

why did they say? does it take over forests? displacing native timber?

Some links:

Some horticulture friends told me few years back about the bad effects of this plant.

Thank you, … i will read it, will be a while the first one is her A. Christina W. Longbrake ‘s phd thesis, and i have found a couple of her other position papers such as this one

There are many links in google …

i know, it has been one of my favorite trees from the times past. what i wanted was news like articles in nepal that may have started. talking of positive and negative aspects of such plantations

I shall check and let you know

On thoroughly checking on net and all our posts, I think Paulownia tomentosa and Paulownia fortunei quite confusing. I could not find the difference between the two on net anywhere except in Flora of China.
Keys in Flora of China are as below:
4 (1) Capsule oblong to oblong-ellipsoid, 6-10 cm; pericarp woody, 3-6 mm; inflorescences subcylindric; corolla ventral plaits inconspicuous; calyx 2-2.5 cm   4 Paulownia fortunei
+ Capsule ovoid, ovoid-ellipsoid, or ellipsoid, 3-5.5 cm; pericarp not woody, to 3 mm; inflorescences pyramidal or narrowly conical; corolla ventral plaits conspicuous; calyx to 2 cm.   (5)
5 (4) Capsule viscid-glandular hairy; calyx lobes as long as or longer than tube, not glabrescent 1 Paulownia tomentosa
+ Capsule pubescent when young; calyx lobes shorter than tube, partly glabrescent. (6)
Pl see the illustration of both as below:
From flowers it is very difficult to arriva eat the species. Also aspect of calyx is also confusing. I think most important character to separate the two is the fruit.
From fruit shape, I think it should be Paulownia fortunei as in
Fruit shape of Paulownia tomentosa is different as per

…, fruit size is also important. In this case, fruits are only 3-4 cm long (not more than 6cm as in case of O. fortunii). I have seen other plants as well but not the fruits in that case.

Actually, both species were introduced in India by the Forest Research Institute Dehradun. I may be having flowering twigs of other species as well and will report back to you.

Pl. check if the pericarp was woody.

But proportional shape is clearly of Paulownia fortunei

Dimensions given are from Flora of China. So in alien environment size, fruit size can vary a bit. But shape is more important. 

Thank you for this key, …

Many clues to the species identification are there in this key. I am going out to do some more research

Also send original image of fruit.

Were the flowering images from the same tree ?

… all of my photographs at efloraofindia are from the same
location and trees. I have another set of photographs from Solan, which I perceive to be P. fortunei.

Flora of China says Mountain slopes, forests, mountain valleys, wastelands, below 2000 m for Paulownia fortunei (Seemann) Hemsley in F. B. Forbes & Hemsley and Usually cultivated, below 1800 m for Paulownia tomentosa

Paulownia tomentosa

Paulownia fortunei (Seemann) Hemsley in F. B. Forbes & Hemsley


…, this plant has been introduced in H.P. by the forest
department from FRI, Dehradun. My identification was based on “BOTANICA: The Illustrated A-Z of over 10,000 garden plants and how to cultivate them” by Turner and Wassan. Attaching clicks of the book for your reference. Details of my observations on my plant will be given in next mail. Researching  on that after clicking some more photographs.

Attachments (3)

Thanks, …, There has always been misidentifications and confusions when it comes to introduced species.
Images of buds and flowers above does not prove anything.
I think best to go with the following, where fruit is also depicted:

I have tried to compared my plant with the description given  in the Flora of China. Kindly find attached a copy of comparision for further reference. Based on these evidences, it appears that my plant  is Paulownia tomentosa only. I had clicked some plants in the campus of Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Solan a  few years back, which I was presuming as P. fortunei. I’ll see them again in new lighjt. Some more photographs are attached. The number of  flowers per cymes are clearly visible in one of the photographs.
Measurements of leaves and old fruits (they remain on plants for longer periods) are taken today only. Leaf size can still increase as  they start appearing only in the month of April.

Comparison of Paulownia spp. Based on Flora of China



P. tomentosa


P. fortunei


Remarks about my Plant




Up to 20m


Up to 30m


Approx. 10-15 m, not useful character in this case as plants are only
10 years old




Broad, Umbelliform




Broad, Umbelliform










Leaf blade


Cordate, ca. 40 cm, abaxially
densely to sparsely hairy


Narrowly ovate-cordate, occasionally
ovate-cordate, to 20 cm, abaxially stellate hairy or glandular, tomentose
when mature, adaxially glabrous.Petiole ca. 12 cm, glabrous


Leaves were cordate with lobes on the margin. Blade size was 25-30 cm,
petiole nearly 14-17 cm.


Inflorescence/ Thyrses


Pyramidal to narrowly conical, to 50
cm; cymes 3- or 4-flowered; peduncle 1-2 cm, nearly as long as pedicels


Narrow and long, subcylindric, ca.
25 cm; cymes 3-8-flowered; peduncle as long as pedicels. Pedicel glabrous.


Thyrses were more than 30 cm in all the cases.


Cymes with upto 4 flowers




Calyx shallowly campanulate, ca. 1.5
cm, outside tomentose; lobes to 1/2 or more calyx length, ovate-oblong


Obconical, 2-2.5 cm; lobes 1/4-1/3
of calyx length, ovate to triangular-ovate, narrowly triangular in fruit.


Calyx up to 2 cm in young fruits (not measured in flowers) but ca. .
in fruits, brown tomentose on the outside when young, lobes 1/3-1/2 of the




Purple, funnelform-campanulate,
5-7.5 cm, ridged ventrally, outside glandular, inside glabrous; limb ca. 4.5
cm in diam.


White, purple, or light purple,
tubular-funnelform, 8-12 cm; tube enlarged gradually, slightly bent forward,
ventrally weakly ridged, outside stellate pilose.


Size not measured. Will try next year.


Stamens to 2.5 cm.


Stamens to 2.5 cm.


3-3.5 cm, sparsely glandular hairy.


Not checked


Ovary ovoid, glandular.


Ovary ovoid, glandular.


Ovary glandular, occasionally
stellate hairy.


Not checked


Style shorter than stamens.


Style shorter than stamens.




Not checked




Capsule ovoid, 3-4.5 cm, densely viscid-glandular
hairy; pericarp ca. 1 mm; persistent calyx lobes flat.


Capsule oblong to oblong-ellipsoid,
6-10 cm; beak to 6 cm; pericarp woody, 3-6 mm thick; persistent calyx 3-6 mm,


Ovoid, ca. 4-5 cm, young fruits
densely hairy, 
beak ca. 3 cm, pericarp
ca. 1-1.5 mm thick, easily breakable,


Seeds 2.5-4 mm including wing.


Seeds 2.5-4 mm including wing.


6-10 mm including wing


Not checked


3 images

Thanks, …, for the detailed and through analysis.

In the first image, I also see ripe ovate fruits. I am convinced.

Attachments (3)


Attachments (4)

Thanks, …, for the superb images as well as all the hard work.

We are all doing this research work day in and day out (and publishing on our site), except for publication in research magazines.

Attachments (2)

It is your hard work, … You are curating each and every species and devoting lots of time researching all these.
We are contributing only rarely, whenever getting time.
I believe, that there should be nothing inconclusive. So, clicked more photographs today.
Fruit size and pericarp thickness is quite different in these two species. More thickness makes P. fortunei fruits woody.

Thanks, … Problem is all the research is not reaching to the laymen as well as the botanists, which we are trying to do.

Canopy architecture is an important character if the plants are growing undisturbed.



Tree for Id from Karnal-Haryana:  This  tree is flowering theses days at a few places in our area. This is quite uncommon here, the picture taken is from Karnal City (not much clear because of being distant as this was growing in a private property). Looks to be a member of Bignoniaceae. Please help me identify this beautiful tree.

I thought this to be Paulownia from family Paulowniaceae. Earlier it was placed in Scrophulariaceae

Yes Paulownia fortunei… I think

Fruit image may finally help in confirmation of species as per discussions at Paulownia tomentosa
However, Trees of Delhi: A Field Guide By Pradip Krishen (2004) mentions only Paulownia tomentosa
In view, we may take it as Paulownia tomentosa for the time being, being in the plains and close to Delhi.



This images of this large tree were recorded from a private property in Panipat..
also earlier from Karnal.. please validate if this can be Paulownia fortunei (Seem.) Hemsl.
An introduced tree from Paulowniaceae, earlier Scrophulariaceae..


IDENTITY -39 : 15 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (2)

Attaching two images of a small tree whose flowers and leaves look like an Ipomoea Sp. Can some one identify the species for me?

To me it is Ipomoea crassicaulis

It cannot be a species of Ipomoea. It is a bignoniaceae member. Looks like Catalpa species. C. bignonioides (?)

This is same as FOI, description can be found in and I have already sent a mail to … and he thinks the suggested ID is possible.

for a few years i was mistaking catalpas with Paulownias
one useful quick study is here by Herb Amyx at
simple English distinctions…

it also goes to show that not only flowers but the leaves must also be photographed with care.

… is right. At the outset, both species look similar. I too had the same problem. Thanks for forwarding the relevant link for distinguishing them.

Thank you … Both the genera are unknown to me. This is the first time I hear/read of Catalpa and yesterday it was Paulownia. When I saw these photographs my first reaction was ‘something like Asystasia‘, so I searched for Acanthacaeae tree…..

But the difference given in the link … pasted needs to be modified as per FoC (or other eflora) –

Thanks for your  communication. I learnt a lot from these links.  The purpose is to get the correct ID.
I appreciate the efforts of … who goes deep into the subject and does lot of research. A great work indeed by a dedicated teacher

NOT any Convolvulaceae. I agree with …

I still think it is Paulownia, but not sure of the species, though still think frotunei, can be confirmed only by fruit, following links may help –

  1. Dendro
  2. Fpcn
  3. another cultivated species – Lucid Central

Thank you

I tend to agree with … It seems to be Paulowania

To me also, it appears to be Paulownia fortunei

Pl. confirm.

It must be Paulownia only. No doubt. Thanks for updating me.

Fruit image may finally help in confirmation of species as per discussions at Paulownia tomentosa or otherwise.

Taken at delhi (near my residence) on 26.3.08

Would appreciate id help

Some Paulownia species?

This appears to be a Paulownia species, though most species I’m familiar with are more often shades of violet/lilac, rather than yellow. Hopefully someone else can provide more information.

Interesting ..Never seen in my area. Pune.

Looks like Paulownia. But not confirmed. Can … send the photos of foliage.

Attaching the picture of foliage.This is all i am having for the moment (the foliage is high up but I can try for a better shot).
Looking at Pradeep Krishen’s book, I think it could be Paulownia tomentosa. The book mentions only one place in Delhi having the tree. If so this is the second place (yamuna sports complex).
Attachments (1)

But the flowers have different colours (pale purple or tinged with voilet as per Trees of Delhi) for Paulownia tomentosa. See the link

I guess Paulownia tomentosa !



Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Steud. (accepted name) : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Date: 24 March 2015
Altitude:  4400 ft.

Superb image set.

Fruit image may finally help in confirmation of species as per discussions at Paulownia tomentosa



Tree for ID : Atlanta, Georgia : 09NOV18 : AK-5 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)
A small tree growing wild by the roadside. Seen last month during my visit to Atlanta.
Leaves were bigger in size and heart shaped.

Paulownia tomentosa.

Absolutely brilliant! Yes it does match with your suggested id.


Paulownia tomentosa-F-Scrophulariaceae.
deciduous tree-grows upto 50 feet.
Native to China, Laos, viatnam.
Named after Queen Anna Pavlovna of Netherlands.

Was not aware of any tree from Family Scrophulariaceae.

Huge1 We have seen all tiny miny plants of Scroph

True. This also comes under Paulowniaceae family.

a few trees of Paulownia are in Delhi also…. the tree was imported (from Australia probably) a few years back by forest department for use as a timber tree but the tree just took the conditions to be very favourable and grew very fast and thus depriving the wood of its strength…. hence a useless tree…

Paulownias are seen in plenty in U.S A also.

The pendulum has since swung back and now Paulownia is considered a good candidate for biomass production. Here is a link to an article which appeared in the Hindu. The Hindu Business line


please identify these photos which from Nagaland’ : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)

This plant was posted at FB Group Plant Wealth of India for Identification by …, clicked in Nagaland. 
I think, this is  Paulownia fortunei (Dragon tree). However, close observations are required for confirmation. I can ask him to send these photographs to efloraofindia.

Currently to me appears to be Paulownia tomentosa only as per images and details herein.
However, fruit may finally decide as per keys in Flora of China

I guess … is correct!

Identification required for this sp.: 1 high res. image.
Found in upper hills of Ganderbal district. Kashmir
Seems to be Paulownia sp.

You need to post the habit, foliage and other photographs for proper ID. I think you are well aware as you are a professional taxonomist.

Sure sir…. I will post all photographs

Maybe Paulownia tomentosa, as per images and details herein.


Paulownia tomentosa – Flower picture required:

Would it be possible for you to share images for the following species for the purpose of my
using them in a book I am coming up with?
Paulownia tomentosa – Flower picture.


Please id this Paulownia sp.: 2 images
Found and photographed this tree of Paulownia sp. with flower and fruit at Ralap, East Sikkim. Please confirm whether it is Paulownia fortunei (Foxglove Tree) or any other species.

I guess the ID is correct !

I think Paulownia tomentosa as per detailed discussions at



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