Distinguishing the Invasive paulownia from catalpa trees

DSC_0419

Catalpa

Our native catalpa tree (Catalpa speciosa, above) can be difficult to distinguish this time of year from the invasive royal princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa).  When you get closer though it is easy to distinguish.  The first characteristic is that catalpa has whorled leaves, that means that 3 leaves attach to the same portion of the stem.  See how above the leaves in various stages of maturation appear in groups of three?  The below picture is a close up off the stem.

DSC_0420

catalpa

DSC_0423

paulownia

 See how Paulownia above has leaves that are growing in sets of two (opposite leaves).  Also note how much more hairy the leaves seem and their rougher edges.  Below is a close up of where the leaves attach to the stem, note that only two leaves attach at a node.

DSC_0424

paulownia

If you break off a branch from the paulownia that is from last year (brown bark) you will also see the center is hollow

DSC_0425

paulownia

 

Advertisements

About appalachianohioweeds

My name is Eric Boyda and I am the current coordinator of the Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership. My interests include increasing the awareness of invasive plants and helping individuals or groups plan control strategies.

Posted on May 14, 2013, in Invasive phenology updates and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for this post. While I had heard of the princess tree I didn’t realize it was an invasive here. I’ll have to keep an eye open.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: