Catalpa bignonioides
catalpa; indian cigar tree

Catalpa bignonioides
Catalpa bignoniodes
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Catalpa bignonioides Walter
Common name: catalpa; Indian cigar tree
Synonomy: Catalpa catalpa
Group: dicot
Family: Bignoniaceae
Growth type: tree
Duration: perennial
Origin: native to South
Plant height: 30 - 40'
Foliage: 6 to 12" opposite or whorled, simple, heart-shaped
Flower: white bell shaped flowers with orange stripes and purple spots and strips. Fruit looks like a long bean.
Flowering time: early June to July; fruits July and August
Habitat: moist, well-drained soils, waste places
Range in New Jersey: statewide; most abundant in the Delaware watershed
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Distribution: Catalpa bignonioides
Misc. This plant is often found on old homestead sites, even in the middle of apparent wilderness in the Pine barrens, indicating previous settlement.

The name "catalpa" comes from the Native American tribe, Catawba of South Carolina, who smoked the bean pods. The pods are said to be hallucinogenic.