Sunday, June 13, 2010

Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

Paulownia tomentosa is known by the common names Princess Tree, Princesstree, Foxglove Tree, Royal Paulownia Tree, or Empress Tree. It's a tree that grows to 50 to 75 feet high. The tree begins to flower before the leaves develop.

This is the only tree that I’ve seen naturally occurring; I've seen others, but not many, in cultivated gardens. This tree is on the south side of Marburg Creek, just below the dam in Fort Yargo State Park. To reach it I walked down the back side of the dam to the bike trail and then directly across to the tree. This area is a seep from the ledge above to the creek and was covered by a couple of inches of water. When I left, I walked directly back to the ledge and across to the bike trail. This would have been a better approach to reach the tree.

The tree in bloom – photographed from the top of the dam

A cluster of flowers

Close up of an individual flower.

Seed pods left from last year.

Paulownia tomentosa
(Princess Tree) is native to western and central China. In the United States, its range extends from New York-Connecticut in line across the country to Texas and south to Florida.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Paulownia tomentosa (Princesstree)

University of North Carolina Herbarium: Paulownia tomentosa

Identification resources:
- Southeastern Flora: Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

- Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Paulownia tomentosa (Princess Tree, Royal Paulownia, Empress Tree)

Wikipedia: Paulownia tomentosa

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower

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