Southern Catalpa – Catalpa bignoniodes

Short-trunked tree with broad, rounded crown of spreading branches, large heart-shaped leaves, large clusters of showy white flowers, and long, beanlike fruit.

Leaves: dull green above, paler and covered with soft hairs beneath; turning blackish in autumn. Unpleasant odor when crushed.

Bark: brownish-gray, scaly. Twigs: green, turning brown, stout, hairless.

Flowers: bell-shaped corolla of 5 unequal rounded fringed lobes, white with 2 orange stripes and many purple spots and stripes inside; slightly fragrant.

Habitat: moist soils in open areas such as roadsides and clearings. Native to Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi. Widely naturalized from S. New England south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Michigan.