A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Catalpa bungei C. A. Mey.

Modern name

Catalpa bungei C.A.Mey.

A tree 20 to 30 ft high, of bushy habit. Leaves 2 to 712 in. long, 112 to 412 in. wide; ovate or somewhat triangular, with a wedge-shaped or straightly cut base; sometimes entire, but often coarsely scalloped, so as to form one to six large teeth on each side, mostly on the lower half; quite glabrous at maturity; stalk half to two-thirds as long as the blade. Flowers not yet seen in this country, but described as ‘white and purple’; they are produced three to twelve together in a flattish corymb. Corolla 112 in. long and wide.

Native of China, and evidently frequent in the neighbourhood of Peking. Although the true species was only introduced in 1905, through Prof. Sargent, plants under the name have long been in cultivation; these, however, are nearly always C. bignonioides ‘Nana’, but sometimes C. ovata. The true C. bungei is still very rare. Of its ornamental qualities little can yet be said, but as represented by dried specimens at Kew, the inflorescence is small. Its quite glabrous leaves distinguish it from other cultivated species except C. fargesii f. duclouxii. It is now in cultivation at Kew but grows poorly.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

In the first printing of the current edition it was stated that this species was in cultivation at Kew. There were indeed plants under that label when the enquiry was made, but these later proved not to be C. bungei.



Other species in the genus