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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paulownia tomentosa - Princess tree

The Princess tree is a very fast growing large tree with beautiful flowers. Growing  50+ feet, it forms a dense rounded to oval canopy. Pretty spectacular sight in full bloom. Known to be pretty invasive, where one is planted other  show up in neighbors yards.   Would not want to have to clean up the leaves in the fall. My students are always impressed with the specimen on 36th. This one is on Clubhouse Dr.



Leaves are deciduous, opposite, simple, large 6-12" long x 4-8" wide, cordate shaped either entire or with 3-5 lobes. Leaves are densely hairy, almost velvety texture. 



Variously lobed, most of the time 3-5 but this one caught my eye but you can see the leaf behind it with pointed lobes.



Flowers are borne prior to the leaves in large upright 12" panicles. Individual flowers are purple, trumpet-shaped, 2" long and wide with a lower lip from fused petals. The flowers have some yellow in the throat. 




Flower buds are copper colored.



Fruit is an oval-shaped brown capsule with a point on the end.



Stems green, thick, and somewhat hairy.  Bark is mostly gray, with some dark diamond shaped areas.



Misidentification:
Huge leaves, large purple flowers, really fast growth rate.

Location:
Aptos
970 Clubhouse Drive

Santa Cruz
733 36th Ave (Pleasure Point)

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