Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Royal Paulownia

If you look closely, you’ll recognize this tree from our winter time explorations around the farm, here in eastern Pennsylvania. In winter, I referred to this then-mystery tree as the “water tree,” owing to the babbling sound it made in the wind, with the empty seed pods clapping on the branches. We saw some growing through the bank farmhouse as well.

This tree is in fact called a Royal Paulownia, also referred to as the Princess-tree or Empress-tree, and it bears big, upright clusters of purple flowers. We missed the golden opportunity to see these flowers in action this spring, as I failed to visit the trees until the flowers were all but gone.

What you can see now are the broad, beautiful, heart-shaped leaves which adorn this tree, and the swelling seed pods of what used to hold fragrant, purple petals.

If you’d like to see what these flowers look like, and learn a little more about this tree, you can check out the article, Miracle Trees : Part I, Royal Paulownia by Missouri Environment and Garden (pictures are at the end of the article).


  1. I love how you creatively called this the "water tree" in Winter because of the sound its pods made in the wind!

  2. Trouble is - now that's exactly what I think when I see this tree! It's going to take some doing to get my mind around "Royal Paulownia!"


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