how do you tell apart Northern and Southern Catalpa, really?

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)October 31, 2013

OK, I confess.

They're often derided, but I like Catalpas. Always have.

However, with the exteptions of the golden and purple leaved cultivars, I have a LOT of trouble telling apart the two native Catalpas...C. bignonioides & C. speciosa.

The only thing I can go off of is *usually* C. speciosa grows larger.

Are there any good "clues" to tell the difference?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Different crown structure, flower structure and flowering times. Northern is tall growing with smaller heads of bigger flowers earlier in the summer (June); in bloom the heads are bunchy enough for it to look kind of like a rhododendron, from some distance. Southern is broad growing with large and open, branching heads of smaller flowers still being out much farther along in summer.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Sounds like 90% of the Catalpas I see around are Northern then.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beng(z6 western MD)

Most of what you see in the mid-Atlantic states are N catalpa. The best way to tell on older trees is the trunk bark -- flaky, scaly on S catalpa, furrowed (like most other common trees) on N catalpa.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:54AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Two trees start blooming in milder climate ...
I know the first is Hong Kong orchid. I forget the...
jujujojo_gw
Indoor Dogwood Tree
Hi, I'm looking to grow a dogwood tree indoors in our...
timandpao
Japanese snowbell - anyone with experience growing in zone 5?
I'm looking for a tree for our front yard. Japanese...
mattow42
Girdled Tap Root?? What to do??
Sorry if this is wordy, the tree experts might be able...
pricklypearsatx
Number 4 thread of Most successful try @ LIve oak in Pa
Okay, this is the newest thread about the Live Oak...
poaky1
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™