Catalpa bignonioides, also known as the Indian Bean Tree, was introduced from the South East US in 1726.
This tree is an interesting specimen that produces very large, bright green fleshy leaves late in the spring and an exotic, orchid like, trumpet shaped pink-white flower in midsummer.
It is one of the very last trees to come into leaf in the spring, so do beware not to panic if your tree is not showing too much signs of life when all other trees are well advanced!
In the autumn time, as the common name suggests, the Indian Bean Tree produces large, dark “beans” which are similar in look to vanilla pods. These beans remain on the tree for most of the winter months, giving it a slightly angry looking appearance!
Catalpa bignonioides will thrive on most soil conditions, however it is best avoided in windy or hard paved areas, as the fleshy leaves can become damaged if subjected to excessive wind or heat.
The Indian Bean Tree is a common garden favourite in the UK and whilst it can be produced as both a multi-stem or single trunk specimen.
At Barcham we favour the latter meaning our trees are well suited to planting in gardens where they develop well above head height, rather than taking up lateral space as the multi-stemmed versions can become very wide.
It is a useful garden tree, although is capable of growing to a reasonable height at maturity if it is not managed.
Mature height: 7-12m