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Catalpa Bignonioides or Indian Bean Tree
With large floppy light green leaves, prolific panicles of white flowers in mid-summer followed by long green pods of seeds in autumn, Catalpa Bignonioides, more commonly known as the Indian Bean Tree, is a showy decorative mid-sized tree. It will eventually grow to around 15 metres in height and spread.
In terms of aspect, Catalpa Bignonioides will grow in most well drained soils but is happiest if sheltered from windy spots and planted in full sun. Keep in mind its South East, North American origins.
The leaves tend to be large and broad in an attractive light green colour. The stunning white flowers are on panicles and are dotted with purple and orange spots. In the autumn, the long slim seed pods turn brown and hang from the tree while the leaves turn a dramatic yellow.
The Indian Bean Tree has a naturally rounded growth habit in the crown but it is a good tree for pollarding and it grows well in urban areas and will tolerate air pollution.
Catalpa Bignonioides has an RHS Award of Garden Merit, underlining its suitability to UK gardens and climate.