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Catalpa bignonioides
This native American tree was first reported in cultivation in 1728, and was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson's. It was grown at Monticello in the upper grove with Aspen, Umbrella Magnolia, and Chinaberry. Catalpa was one of the American trees Jefferson recommended to Madame de Tessé, his friend in Paris.  Also known as Southern Catalpa and Indian Bean, this fast-growing tree is highly ornamental and deserves more use in our landscapes. Large clusters of white flowers spotted yellow and purple appear in early summer all over the outside of the tree, above the pale green foliage.  In addition to its spectacular blooms, the Catalpa has a handsome sculptural appearance in winter.
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Catalpa.
Growth Type: 
Deciduous Tree
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
May 22, 2007 to June 14, 2007May 29, 2009 to June 19, 2009May 24, 2010 to June 9, 2010May 15, 2012 to June 4, 2012June 1, 2014 to June 15, 2014May 22, 2016 to June 17, 2016May 18, 2017 to June 23, 2017May 28, 2018 to June 22, 2018May 13, 2019 to June 18, 2019June 1, 2020


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