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Paulownia tomentosa (Empress tree, Foxglove tree, Princess tree, Royal pawlonia)

Paulownia tomentosa Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Paulownia tomentosa pawl-OH-nee-ah toe-men-TOE-sah Common Name: Empress tree, Foxglove tree, Princess tree, Royal pawlonia Genus: Paulownia
This deciduous tree has thick shoots and large, lobed, bright green leaves. Fragrant pinkish lilac flowers appear in late spring with the foliage. When grown as a perennial, its robust shoots become sturdy stems 2 inches in diameter, with mammoth leaves as much as 2 feet across. Paulownia tomentosa can grow to 12 feet tall in a single season.
Noteworthy characteristics: This native of China is naturalized in the eastern U.S. Grown as a large shade tree in milder parts of the country, it can be grown as a perennial, cutting it to the ground each spring. It tolerates polluted and poor soils.
Care: Grow in fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. Flowers best in climates with long, hot summers.
Propagation: From root cuttings in winter.
Problems: Canker, dieback, powdery mildew, wood rot, and mushroom rot.
Height 10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Pace Fast Grower;Invasive/Aggressive Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Dry to Medium
Tolerance Drought Tolerant
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Pink Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Flowering Tree, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest
Type Trees

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