This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(the Indian name of C. bignonioides). Bignoniaceae. Ornamental trees, often cultivated for their handsome flowers appearing in large and showy panicles in summer, and for their heavy foliage.
Leaves usually deciduous, opposite, long-petioled, entire or coarsely lobed: flowers in terminal panicles; calyx splitting irregularly or 2-lipped; corolla campanulate, 2-lipped, with 2 smaller upper and 3 larger lower lobes; fertile stamens 2, curved, with diverging anther-sacs, not exceeding the tube of the corolla; style 2-lobed at the apex, slightly longer than the stamens: fruit a very long cylindrical caps., separating into 2 valves, with numerous small oblong compressed seeds bearing a tuft of white hairs on each end. - About 10 species in N. Amer., W. India and E. Asia, of which 6 are hardy in the northern temperate regions.
Catalpas are deciduous or rarely evergreen trees with opposite or sometimes whorled, long-petioled, large and simple leaves emitting in most species a disagreeable odor when bruised, and with white, pinkish or yellowish flowers in large and showy panicles followed by very long and narrow cylindric pods.
The coarse-grained and soft wood is very durable in the ground, and, therefore, much valued for fence-psts and railway ties. Catalpa bignonioides and particularly C. speciosa are sometimes planted as avenue trees. For formal gardens, if low round-headed trees are desired, C. bignonioides variety nana is to be recommended. They grow in almost any somewhat moist soil, and are hardy as far north as New England. Propagated by seeds sown in spring, in the North, best with slight bottom heat, or by cuttings from ripe wood, the varieties often by softwood cuttings in early summer or by grafting on seedlings or on roots under glass in spring; also increased sometimes by layers and root cuttings.
a. Infloresence paniculate: Ivs. usually pubescent, with simple hairs.
B. Flowers yellow, striped inside orange and spotted dark violet, less than 1 in. long.
(C. Kaempferi, Sieb. & Zucc. C. Henryi, Dode). Fig. 838. Tree, to 20 ft.: Ivs. broadly cordate-ovate, abruptly acuminate, often 3-5-lobed, nearly glabrous at length, with reddish spots in the axils of the veins beneath, 5-8 in. long: panicles many-flowered, 4-7 in. long, fragrant. June. China, much cult, in Japan. B.M. 6611. I.H. 9:319. L.I. 10. S.I.F. 2:71. - Hardier than the American species.
Fig. 838. Catalpa ovata in fruit. (X 1/6)
bb. Flowers white, with 2 yellow stripes inside, and spotted purplish brown, l 1/2-2 in. long.
Walt. (C. Catdipa, Karst. C. syringi-folia, Sims). Catalpa. Indian Bean. Tree, 20-50 ft.: Ivs. often whorled, cordate-ovate, abruptly acuminate, sometimes with 2 lateral lobes, pubescent beneath, 5-8 in. long, of unpleasant odor: panicles many-flowered; flowers about 2 in. diam., thickly spotted inside: pod 6-20 in. long, 1/4- 1/3in- thick. June, July. Southern states, north to Tenn., often naturalized elsewhere. B.M. 1094. L.B.C. 13:1285. S.S. 6:288-9. Gng. 6:118-9. G.F. 3:537, 539. J. H. III. 32:121. G.C. III. 21:298; 29:167; 44:10, 312. F.E. 23:479. G.W. 7, p. 88. G. 23:481. G.M. 37:627. Gn. 22, p. 74; 26, p. 164-5; 33, p. 393; 36, p. 239; 66, p. 205. - Usually low tree, with very wide-spreading branches. Not much used medicinally, but pods and seeds said to possess antispasmodic, cardiac, and sedative properties: bark anthelmintic, alterative. There are some garden forms. variety aurea, Lav. Leaves yellow. G.M. 53:709. variety nana, Bur. (C. Bungei, Hort., not C. A. Mey.). Forms a dense, round bush, often grafted high.
Gng. 3:195. M.D.G. 1903:616. F.E. 14, p. 31.
Warder. Figs. 839, 840. (C. cordifolia, Jaume, partly). Western Catalpa. Tree, to 100 ft.: leaves cordate-ovate, long-acuminate, pubescent beneath, 8-12 in. long: panicles comparatively few-flowered; flowers about 2 1/2 in. diam., inconspicuously spotted inside: pod 1/2- 3/4 in. thick. June. From S. 111. and Ind. to La. and Miss. S.S. 6:290-1. R.H. 1895:136. M.D.G. 1903:229-30 (habit). - A very desirable ornamental tree, closely allied to the former, but taller and hardier. Properties similar to C. bignonioides. variety pulverulenta, Paul & Son. Leaves freely dotted with white or cream color. G.M. 53:30. G. 30:289. F.E. 31:319.
Fig. 839. Catalpa speciosa. (X 3/5)
Fig. 840. Catalpa speciosa in fruit. (X 1/6) aa. Flowers yellowish, more or less marked with brown or red.
Spaeth (C Teasii, Penhall. C. Teasiana, Dode). Hybrid Catalpa. Hybrid between C. bignonioides and C. ovata. Large tree, intermediate between the parents: the leaves resemble more those of
C. ovata, and are purplish when unfolding, but much larger and slightly pubescent beneath, while the flowers are more like B. bignoniodes, but smaller and with the infloresence often twice as long. Originated at J. C. Teas' nursery at Baysville, Ind. G.F. 2:305. Gt. 47:1454. G.W. 3, p. 569. - A very valuable tree, flowering profusely; of rapid growth and hardy. Seedlings usually resemble C. ovata. variety japonica, Rehd. (C. juponica, Dode). Leaves broader and more abruptly acuminate, nearly glabrous beneath. variety purpurea, Rehd. (C. hybrida variety atropurpiirea, Spaeth. C. big-nonioides variety purpurea, Hort.). Leaves dark purple when young, green at length.
aa. Infi. racemose; pedicels very slender, l-l 1/2 in. long, occasionally the lower ones with 2 or 3 flowers
b. Leaves pubescent or tomentose beneath, with branched hairs.
Fargesii, Bur. Tree, to 60 ft.: leaves ovate, acuminate, rounded at the base, entire, slightly pubescent above, densely beneath, 3-6 in. long: racemes pubescent, 7-10-flowered; flowers about 1 1/2 in. long, rosy pink with purplish brown dots in throat: pod to 2 ft. long, 1/4-1/3in. thick. W. China. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Paris III. 6:3.
bb. Leaves quite glabrous. Duclouxii, Dode (C. sutchuenensis, Dode). Tree, to 80 ft.: leaves ovate, acuminate, usually rounded or subcordate at the base, with purple spots in the axils of the veins beneath, 5-8 in. long and often 4 or 5 in. broad: racemes 5-15-flowered, the lower branches sometimes with 2 or 3 flowers; flowers rosy pink with orange markings in throat, 11/2-1 3/4 in- long: pod about 2 ft. long and 1/4-1/3in. thick. Cent. China.
Bungei, C. A. Mey. Small tree: leaves narrowly triangular-ovate, entire or with 1 or few pointed teeth near the base, long-acuminate, truncate or sometimes broadly cuneate at the base, with purple spots in the axils beneath, 3-6 in. long and not over 3 in. wide: racemes 3-12-flowered; flowers white with purple spot, 1-11/2 in. long: pod 12-15 in. long. N. China. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Paris 111.6:4. - Has proved perfectly hardy at the Arnold Arboretum. variety heterophylla, C. A. Mey. (C. heterophylla, Dode). Leaves with several pointed teeth near the base: racemes 3-5-flowered
C. longissima, Sims. Tree to 50 ft.: leaves oblong-ovate, coriaceous: flowers small, white. W. Indies; often planted as shade tree in Cuba.