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Common Name:

Northern Catalpa

Scientific Name:

Catalpa speciosa

Family Name:



Northern Catalpa is a taller more upright tree than Southern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa). Northern Catalpa tends to bloom a couple of weeks ahead of Southern Catalpa, is more cold hardy, and is a better timber tree. The wood is durable once cured and is valued for fence posts, but tends to warp badly as a milled lumber.

Plant Habit or Use:

Tree, medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

White with purple splotches and yellow spots

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Two-valved green-bean like capsules


50 ft to 60 ft


30 ft to 40 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Low Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Northern Catalpa is similarly adapted as Southern Catalpa.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.