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Paulownia tomentosa AGM

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Spreading / Branched

Fragrance

Flower

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Pink and Pale Purple in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Fruit

Pale Brown in Winter

Size

Ultimate height

8-12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

foxglove tree

Family

Paulowniaceae


Paulownia are deciduous trees with large, ovate leaves and erect panicles of foxglove-like flowers in spring; they can also be coppiced for extra-large leaves at expense of flowers

P. tomentosa is a broad, medium-sized deciduous tree with handsome ovate or shallowly-lobed leaves to 25cm in length. Fragrant, light lilac-purple flowers in large panicles. Fruits ovoid, thinly woody

Other common names

  • princess tree

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • East-facing, South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moist, humus-rich, fertile soils. Protect young trees from frost. Can be pollarded. Very tolerant of atmospheric pollution

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Neutral or Alkaline
  • Loam, Clay, Sand or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in autumn or spring. Seed germinates best if exposed to light. Seedlings must be protected from frost

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden or Flower borders and beds


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or Pruning group 7 for foliage effect

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally trouble free