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Uses

Toxic parts

The roots are highly poisonous[1].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Catalpa bignonioides.

Material uses

A fast-growing tree with an extensive root system, it has been planted on land that is subject to landslips or erosion in order to stabilize the soil[2]. Wood - coarse and straight-grained, soft, not strong, moderately high in shock resistance, very durable in the soil. It weighs about 28lb per cubic foot. It is highly valued for posts and fencing rails, and is also used for interior finishes, cabinet work etc[3][4][5][6].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A tea made from the bark has been used as an antiseptic, antidote to snake bites, laxative, sedative and vermifuge[7]. As well as having a sedative effect, the plant also has a mild narcotic action, though it never causes a dazed condition[2]. It has therefore been used with advantage in preparations with other herbs for the treatment of whooping cough in children, it is also used to treat asthma and spasmodic coughs in children[2][1]. The bark has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria[1].

The leaves are used as a poultice on wounds and abrasions[7]. A tea made from the seeds is used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis and is applied externally to wounds[7].

The pods are sedative and are thought to have cardioactive properties[7]. Distilled water made from the pods, mixed with eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and rue (Ruta graveolens) is a valuable eye lotion in the treatment of trachoma and conjunctivitis[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown outdoors, or in a cold frame, as soon as it is ripe[8]. Stratify stored seed for 3 weeks at 1°c and sow in spring[8]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Softwood cuttings, 10cm long, in a frame. They should be taken in late spring to early summer before the leaves are fully developed[8].

Root cuttings in winter[8].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Catalpa bignonioides. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a good moist loamy soil and a sunny position that is not exposed[9][10]. Tolerates heavy clay soils[8]. Very resistant to atmospheric pollution[11]. Plants become chlorotic on shallow alkaline soils[12].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c, probably more in continental climates[8], they grow best in areas with hot summers[11]. Protect plants from late frosts when they are young[8]. A very ornamental plant[9], it is fast-growing in the wild where it often flowers when only 6 - 8 years old[13]. The sweetly-scented flowers are borne in forked panicles at the end of branches[14]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[11][8][12]. The trees transplant easily[8]. The crushed foliage has an unpleasant smell[12]. Another report says that the leaves are attractively scented when bruised[14].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[8].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Catalpa bignonioides. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Catalpa bignonioides.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Catalpa bignonioides
Genus
Catalpa
Family
Bignoniaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.008.018.028.038.048.058.068.078.088.098.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)

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