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Native or Introduced to Illinois: native
Natural Habit in Illinois: bottomland woods; floodplains
Leaf: Leaves are opposite (whorled), simple. They are 8 to 12 inches long and heart-shaped. Leaves are thick and firm, dark green above and downy beneath.
Flower: Beautiful large white flowers in upright clusters.
Fruit: The fruit is a slender, 8 to 20 inch long pod that ripens in early autumn. The pod hangs on the tree all winter and opens in the spring before falling off.
Twig/Bark: The bark is thick, reddish brown, with scaly, longitudinal ridges.
Size/Form/Shape: Catalpas grow rapidly. The trunks are short, often crooked, supporting a broad, rounded crown of slender, spreading branches and thick twigs.
County Distribution Map for Illinois:
Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites:
- Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN) @ http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/ilpin/ilpin.html#Background
- List of Woody Plants Native or Naturalized in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/woody.html
- Tree Species @ http://ostermiller.org/tree/species.html
- Index to Eastern/Central Trees @ http://www.arborday.org/trees/ECtreelist.html
- ISU Forestry Extension Identification of Common Trees of Iowa @ http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Pages/tree/
- Key to Leaves of Virginia Trees @ http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/forsite/key/intro.htm
- List of Native Trees for Use Along Roadsides in Illinois @ http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~kenr/treetable.html
- The PLANTS Database @ http://plants.usda.gov/
The information below is from the National Arbor Day Foundation. This information can be viewed in the original (source) form by visiting The National Arbor Day Foundation at http://www.arborday.org.
Sun Exposure: This catalpa does well in Partial shade to full sun
Soil Type: prefers deep, moist, fertile, well-drained. acidic, slightly alkaline, clay, loamy, moist, sandy wide range of soils; is drought tolerant.
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Hardiness Zones: 4 - 8
This catalpa can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map.