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Catalpa Catalpa bignonioides


Any of several species of deciduous trees from the family Bignoniaceae (especially those from the genus Catalpa) native to the United States, West Indies and east Asia. Catalpa wood is lightweight with a fine grain. It is used for ornamental items and cabinetry. The jacaranda is a type of catalpa tree from the same family.

Synonyms and Related Terms

southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides); northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa); Trompetenbäume (Deut.); trompetboom (Ned.); catalpa (Fr., Port.); jacaranda (Esp.); catalpa (It.); jacaranda; caroba; Indian bean tree; catawba

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Tree height= 10-25 m
  • Leaves=heart shaped
  • Fruit=slender bean pod (20-50 cm)

Resources and Citations

  • Virginia Tech Dendrology website at (accessed Oct. 3, 2005)
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998