Q. I saw a tree in bloom over Mother's Day weekend.

I was coming into Philadelphia by train from Lansdale. From the train we saw a tree with purple blooms and wondered what it was. I've also seen it along our highways. Can you help us identify it? Thank you!


The tree  that you are referring to is Paulownia tomentosa or (Empress Tree, Royal Paulownia). It is exceedingly adaptable, has large leaves, spreads easily, is pretty in bloom but not recommended for residential properties. If it isn't this tree, it is wisteria vine that has escaped from cultivation. Jacaranda trees are tropical and do not survive the winters in Pennsylvania.

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 52
  • Answered By Aska Gardener

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