Catalpa speciosa E. Y. Teas, Gard. Monthly & Hort. Advertiser 17:181. 1875 (Syn: (≡) Catalpa bignonioides var. speciosa Warder);
USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia), Canada (Ontario), European Russia (I), Northern Caucasus (I), Transcaucasus (I), Kazakhstan (I),  Uzbekistan (I), Tajikistan (I), Turkmenistan (I), Taiwan (I), Pakistan (I), Korea (I), Slovakia (I) as per Catalogue of Life;

Images by Satish Phadke (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links)


Catalpa speciosa from California: A big tree from Bignoniaceae : Observed in Mountainview ; planted on 8th Jun 2011
I think this is Catalpa speciosa.
Very similar to Chinese Catalpa (Catalpa ovata) posted earlier by .. Sir in Jul 2010 from Kashmir

I am not too sure but this may not turn out to be Catalpa bignonioides. Perhaps … can recollect and apply this key more accurately:
C. bignonioides                                                            C. speciosa
Leaves 12-20 cm long, ill smelling when bruised         Leaves 15-30 cm long, odorless, long acuminate abruptly acuminate
Flowers in broadly pyramidal 20-25 cm long panicles Flowers in few-fld 15 cm long panicles
Flowers white with two yellow stripes and thick           Flowers white, inconspicuously spotted inside, lobes purple-brown spots. spreading with frilled margin
Pod about 6 mm thick                                                 Pods 12-20 mm thick.
Here are some links for C. speciosa
And some for C. bignonioides
Interestingly C. ovata (Chinese or Eastern Catalpa) and C. bignonioides (Common catalpa, Indian bean) are two far separated species that show the phenomenon of Viccariance. For those interested more, here is information from my book.
The phenomenon of disjunction in some genera may often result in two very closely related species of a genus occupying different geographical regions, so that under natural conditions they would never meet. Classical example is provided by two species of Platanus, P. orientalis growing in Mediterranean region and P. occidentalis of North America. The species are quite distinct in vegetative and floral morphology and have long been treated as distinct species without doubts ever being raised. In places, however, when specimens of these species were grown together, they readily interbred, producing hybrids, which were not only fertile, but also intermediate between them. Obviously extended geographical isolation had developed morphological differences, but no reproductive barriers. Such closely related species growing in different geographical regions constitute vicariants or vicariads, and the phenomenon as vicariism or vicariance. Another significant example is met in the genus Catalpa, C. ovata growing in China and Japan, and C. bignonioides growing in North America. Other examples include Viola cazorlensis of Spain and V. delphinantha of Greece, Convolvulus lanuginosus of France and Spain and C. calvertii from Crimea and S. W. Asia. Vicariance may often involve more than two species as in genus Cedrus, C. atlantica of Atlas mountains of Morocco, C. brevifolia of Cyprus, C. libani of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, and C. deodara of the western Himalayas, all well separated geographical regions.
Vicariance may evolve in a number of ways. A taxon may migrate to a new area and evolve into a new taxon there. A formerly widely continuously distributed taxon may, similarly, become separated into different areas and there undergo divergent evolution. There may also be parallel evolution of two taxa from common ancestor in two different areas. Theoretically this may also result from convergent evolution under similar environmental conditions, but this false vicariance, which may result from superficial resemblance, can be easily detected and rejected.
The phenomenon of disjunction and vicariance has received renewed interest in the recent years with the utilization of principles and techniques of cladistic analysis in the studies of distribution patterns, resulting in the establishment of field of cladistic biogeography or vicariance biogeography. Using this method, cladograms of taxa are constructed, and the names of the taxa at branch ends are substituted by the areas of their distribution, forming so-called area-cladograms. A pattern can be repeatedly constructed using different groups of organisms, and compared for true representation of relative origins of floras (or faunas) of the areas concerned. The area-cladograms can be represented on a map, and areas linked with lines called tracks. The procedures have generated lot of interest with clearer ideas about continental drift and better understanding of the concept of plate tectonics.

For the key as well as the info about Vicariaceae.
I had my doubts about the ID as the shown tree possessed the characters of both. The pattern of spots appeared more close to that of C.speciosa but the rest of the characters match more with C bignonioides.
The leaf bigger and sometimes lobed which is seen in some of my pictures and the flower spots much darker made me think it to be C.speciosa as seen in the link. The fruits of my tree are also long 40cm and more than a cm wide.
Well the tip of leaf………….I can’t decide where to fit. Will try to take some more pictures!

Very true .., leaves put me in some doubt as they appear to be intermediate, but if you can see the plant again leaf size, number of flowers in infl., length of infl. and fruit width can be conclusive. lobed leaves rather suggest C. bignonioides. Who knows it may be a hybrid of two as genetic barriers between the species seem to be week in this genus.
By the way it is vicariance (and not Vicariaceae)


Bignoniaceae week :: Nonnatives : SMP :Catalpa speciosa : Mountainview California:  Catalpa speciosa

This flower has such amazing colouration!


16th June, 2010 from Hazuribagh garden in Srinagar, Kashmir; Catalpa ovata from Kashmir – efloraofindia | Google Groups


Bignoniaceae Week: Catalpa ovata from Kashmir: Catalpa ovata G. Don, Gen. hist. 4:230. 1837
Common: Chinese catalpa
Asian counterpart of the pair of vicariant species (American counterpart being C. bignonioides). Deciduous tree up to 10 m tall; leaves opposite, ovate-cordate, 12-25 cm long, abruptly acuminate, sometimes 3-5-lobed, finely pubescent; flowers pale yellow, 20-25 mm long, in many-flowered up to 25 cm long panicles; corolla with orange stripes and dark violet spots inside; pod up to 30 cm long, 8 mm broad.
Commonly planted in Kashmir. Photographed on June 16, 2010 from Srinagar, Kashmir.

The flowers are just brilliant!

I think this should be Catalpa bignonioides, and not C. ovata.
C. ovata has yellowish flowers which are streaked inside, but not very showy, plus the calyx is greenish. Leaves are 3-lobed.
Catalpa bignonioides has white flowers which are streaked inside and are showy, plus the calyx is purplish. Leaves are not lobed.
… flowers are white, calyx is purplish and the leaves are not lobed.

Thanks …, I will have to go deeper to decide finely, because although flowers in most books are usually described as pale yellow, there are majority white flowers if we search C. ovata on net., nor is 3-lobed leaves a consistent feature, although some leaves have two slight projections in upper part. I did not pay much attention earlier because we had read about C. ovata (Asian species) and C. bignonioides (An American species) as classical example Biogeographical Vicariance. The two are very closely related and grow in different continents, although now they have been planted world around. At this stage I am more inclined towards C. speciosa, because of long acuminate leaves, they are abruptly acuminate in C. bignonioides.

Thanks …,

I was generally looking at the comparison here:

You are right that images on the web are not very consistent. I would be happy to know what you finally settle at after a deeper analysis.

Thanks, … for digging out the old thread.

Catalpa speciosa without any doubt now.

Plz identify- Ranjit :10 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (1)
Please help me to identify.

Is it Catalpa bignonioides..?

I second …

yes. flowers reminiscent of catalpa but the flower spike usually triangular pointing up like kings hat. buy these are not and leaves are usually very large. these seem not not to be. where was it growing??? wild or in botanical garden etc etc

and dear god dont let be dont t from whats app and have no informaion!!!!!

Yes. … is correct.  I have seen this plant in one of the botanical gardens in Princeton, USA

Where was it clicked ?
Though to me also appear close to images at Catalpa speciosa

It was clicked at or near Chandigarh by Dr Satish Narula

Even I have asked more images for it.


Catalpa bignonioides in FOI : 2 posts by 2 authors.
Catalpa bignonioides in FOI from Kashmir may be Catalpa speciosa as per discussions herein by …

Thank you … for bringing this up.
According to the comparative key of the two species given in the discussion in the efi link, the leaves of Catalpa speciosa are typically larger than the flower panicles, whereas the leaves of Catalpa bignonioides are typically shorter than the flower panicles.

In our plant on FOI the flower panicles are longer than the leaves.




GRIN  The Plant List (Author citation different from GRIN)  Wikipedia  Missouri Bot. Garden

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