Monday, April 26, 2010

Paulownia tomentosa - Empress Tree

Paulownia tomentosa: Paulownia, named for Russian Princess Anna Paulowna, daughter of Czar Paul I; tomentosa, meaning 'hairy' or 'wooly', referring to the lower leaf surface.

Very coarse, round headed tree. This fast-growing tree needs a lot of room.

Blue to pale violet trumpet-shaped flowers with a yellow-striped throat in showy upright 6-12" panicles before leaf out. Compare to Jacaranda mimosifolia.

Enormous cordate (heart-shaped) leaves with smooth upper surface and hairy undersides can grow to be as much as 12" long.

Leathery seed pods start green and turn brown with maturity, cracking open to release lots of small winged seeds in fall. Seed pods can persist on the tree into winter.

Shiny gray bark with reddish mottled fissures.


  1. Nice photos of paulownia for more information on paulownia you may read

  2. I have recently discovered a Paulownia tree growing in my flowerbed that surrounds the front of my home. I had no idea what it was in March, April, and part of May. I was told sunflower to weed. I has gotten huge and is quickly overtaking the spot its growing. Should I pull it up and replant? Other sites have called it a invader type plant that will take over and that i don't want with my roses....any ideas?

  3. These trees can be kept small by keeping them cut down, to form a shrub with enormous leaves. But I don't think they will flower if you keep them cropped.