Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Steudel

Empress Tree

Tree to 20 m tall. Bark smooth, grey. Leaves entire, broad-ovate, 15-30 cm long, 12-28 cm wide, pubescent with branching hairs; apex acute. Young shoots glabrous. Flowers opening after or with the leaves; Oct-Nov. Cymes pedicellate. Calyx lobes straight, longer than tube. Corolla 5-7 cm long, blue-violet with small purple dots and 2 yellow lines inside tube. Capsule broad-ovoid to globose, 4-5 cm long.

Korea, Japan & amp;N China

[P. imperialis Siebold & amp;Zucc.]

Source of timber.

SPECIMENS SA: Adelaide (Mt Lofty Bot. Garden).VIC: Porepunkah (Bright Rd).

P. elongata Hu S.Y. is similar, but has stellate hairs and larger flowers up to 9 cm long. P. fargesii Franch. from SW China, Chun po tung, is a tree to 18 m tall. Bark smooth, grey. Leaves entire, broad-ovate, 15-22 cm long, 12-20 cm wide, densely pubescent below with dendroid hairs; apex acute. Flowers opening after leaves, cymes sessile on the panicle branches. Calyx lobes straight, longer than tube. Corolla 5.5-7 cm long, pale blue-violet with a yellow throat; tube almost straight, longer than lobes. Capsule ovoid, 3-4.5 cm long. It is a source of timber and specimens may be seen at Mt Lofty Bot. Garden, Adelaide.

Source: Cooke, D.; Cooke, Y.L. (2002). Paulownia. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'

Corolla tube pale lavender, lobes darker. Has sometimes been confused with p. fargesii. [Paulownia lilacina Sprague] Specimens act: Australian National University (near Hanna Neumann building). Vic: Melbourne (Bot. Gds, periphery of Oak Lawn).

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Paulowniaceae
genus        Paulownia Siebold & Zucc.